Spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark and tender, full of pathos, fury and wit, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason is a dazzling, distinctive novel from a boldly talented writer - now an instant Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for the Women's Prize. 'Sorrow and Bliss is a brilliantly faceted and extremely funny book about depression that engulfed me in the way I'm always hoping to be to be engulfed by novels. While I was reading it, I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realized that I wanted to send it to everyone I know' Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth 'As soon as I finished Mason's tragically funny debut novel, I gave it to a friend, bookmark and all. I have a feeling my much-underlined paperback has changed hands a dozen times by now; Sorrow and Bliss is too good to hang on to. . . . Mason navigates [Martha's challenges] with dark charm.' New York Times 'I am adding Sorrow and Bliss to my list of the best novels of 2020.' The Australian 'Both fantastically dark and almost unbearably funny ... its beautifully understated, airy style conceals the fiercest intelligence. I loved it so much that I stalked the author on social media - a first. Just read it. It's unforgettable.' India Knight, The Times 'Such a good book and so richly warrants the Fleabag reference... So funny, so devastating, it's really spiky and completely compelling, I absolutely loved it' Annabel Crabb This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she doesn't know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something, the thing is just to keep going. Martha told Patrick before they got married that she didn't want to have children. He said he didn't mind either way because he has loved her since he was fourteen and making her happy is all that matters, although he does not seem able to do it. By the time Martha finds out what is wrong, it doesn't really matter anymore. It is too late to get the only thing she has ever wanted. Or maybe it will turn out that you can stop loving someone and start again from nothing - if you can find something else to want. The book is set in London and Oxford. It is sad and funny. SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 JANN MEDLICOTT ACORN PRIZE FOR FICTION in the NZ BOOK AWARDS 'Gloriously tender and absorbing ... It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud... Mason pulls off something extraordinary in this huge-hearted novel, alchemising an unbearable anguish into something tender and hilarious and redemptive and wise, without ever undermining its gravity or diminishing its pain.' The Guardian UK 'Compulsively readable, Sorrow and Bliss is one of the funniest books I've read ... It is tempting to compare Martha to other tragicomic greats, Fleabag in particular. But Martha is such a brilliant, singular creation ... that it is more interesting to imagine not the characters that have inspired her but the ones she will inspire." The Independent 'This is a romance, true, but a real one ... as devastating and sharply witty as Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag.' Books+Publishing 'A triumph. A brutal, hilarious, compassionate triumph.' Alison Bell, The Letdown 'A heartbreaking debut ... simultaneously funny and sad-and aching..Witty and stark, Martha's emotionally affecting story will delight fans of Sally Rooney' Publishers Weekly starred review 'Sorrow and Bliss is a book you'll want to devour in one sitting ... an adult coming-of-age novel told with force, breathlessness and a confessional style that makes you feel as if you're sharing intimacies with an old friend ... Mason's writing has been compared to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag for good reason ... fresh and revelatory ... sharp, racy and entertaining throughout.' The Saturday Paper 'Sharp yet humane, and jaw-droppingly funny, this is the kind of novel...
English writer Mason excels in her heartbreaking U.S. debut, an account of a woman's self-discovery amid her struggle with mental illness. Martha Russell was raised by volatile artists and as a teenager began to be affected by debilitating bouts of depression, for which she's prescribed an antidepressant. Told by a physician that it would be disastrous to get pregnant while on her medication, Martha spends the her adulthood telling her romantic partners and trying to convince herself that she doesn't want to be a mother. Martha's mental health ("Unless I inform you otherwise, at intervals throughout my twenties and most of my thirties, I was depressed," she narrates) ends her first marriage and jeopardizes the second, to longtime family friend Patrick. After Martha is finally prescribed an effective medication, she's able to see her family relationships in new light but is it too late to repair them? Martha's anecdotes, simultaneously funny and sad, are stacked with observations that alternate between brutally cutting especially when directed at her mother and at the patient and supportive Patrick and aching, as when her oblique descriptions of her sister's growing family increasingly belie her true feelings about motherhood. Witty and stark, Martha's emotionally affecting story will delight fans of Sally Rooney.
With the read.
Well written, a slow start but worth persuing. Very good insight into female mental health - legitimate.
Sorrow and Bliss
I didn’t expect to like Martha. But I did at the end. So much; she had become real. The journey of a life lived inside, versus one finally viewed from outside - with awareness and compassion - was brilliant.
The title really does some up this beautifully sad and hilarious story. The author’s writing is relatable and evocative.