Hardback Sorrow and bliss / Meg Mason.
Publication year: 2021
Publisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9781474622974 (hbk.) :
Originally published: Sydney: HarperCollins Publishers, 2020.
Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift - her mother once said - not everybody gets. So why is everything broken? Why is Martha - on the edge of 40 - friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave? Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain. Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents, Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix - or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.
346 pages ; 24 cm
Nowhere near as good as the media rave reviews would suggest. There are genuinely funny moments; touching and affecting moments too; and the relationship between the two sisters makes for great reading. But the characters' motivations lack credibility far too often, and the unspecified mental illness, not based on any real mental illness, just seems like the author is cheating, as it is this illness that drives the whole narrative. Read it for the laughs, but expect to be frustrated and disappointed.