Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Review: "Sorrow and Bliss" by Meg Mason

This is a book that had been on my TBR for a while. I’d seen a few 5-star reviews from Bookstagram friends, and the general average rating on both Goodreads and Amazon is above 4 stars, so when my friend Lindsay said that she also had this one her list, I suggested a buddy read.

The best part? The discussion with her about the book. Sometimes a book just rubs you the wrong way and if this hadn’t been a buddy read I would have DNF’d this. (While I was reading this I kept hoping Lindsay wasn’t loving it, lol. She was not, BTW.)

As a person with depression, I am always in great support of books that highlight mental illness. But while this book demonstrated the highs and lows that occur, the way mental illness can erode personal relationships, and the way people around you just tell you to get better, I felt like it also made the main character, Martha, seem really unlikeable and unsympathetic. Mental illness doesn't make you a bad person, period.

The book said Martha was diagnosed with “____” rather than anything real, and proceeded to use “___” frequently. I guess I might understand the rationale, but it frustrated me. And then the kicker was this ending note: “The medical symptoms described in the novel are not consistent with a genuine mental illness. The portrayal of treatment, medication, and doctors’ advice is wholly fictional.” Wait, what?

Anyway, you know I don’t often write negative reviews and I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who writes. Sometimes books just don’t click for you—obviously lots of people have loved this one. So on to the next!!

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