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So lucky by Nicola Griffith
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So lucky (2018)

by Nicola Griffith

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858217,256 (3.62)15
From the author of Hild, a fierce and urgent autobiographical novel about a woman facing down a formidable foe So Lucky is the sharp, surprising new novel by Nicola Griffith-the profoundly personal and emphatically political story of a confident woman forced to confront an unnerving new reality when in the space of a single week her wife leaves her and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Mara Tagarelli is, professionally, the head of a multimillion-dollar AIDS foundation; personally, she is a committed martial artist. But her life has turned inside out like a sock. She can't rely on family, her body is letting her down, and friends and colleagues are turning away-they treat her like a victim. She needs to break that narrative: build her own community, learn new strengths, and fight. But what do you do when you find out that the story you've been told, the story you've told yourself, is not true? How can you fight if you can't trust your body? Who can you rely on if those around you don't have your best interests at heart, and the systems designed to help do more harm than good? Mara makes a decision and acts, but her actions unleash monsters aimed squarely at the heart of her new community. This is fiction from the front lines, incandescent and urgent, a narrative juggernaut that rips through sentiment to expose the savagery of America's treatment of the disabled and chronically ill. But So Lucky also blazes with hope and a ferocious love of self, of the life that becomes possible when we stop believing lies.… (more)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Mara has a great life. She's in a relationship and they live in a cute condo. Her job with a large AIDS non-profit gives her recognition and challenges and she's passionate about martial arts. Then, in a few days, it all collapses. Her partner leaves her for another woman and then she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable and disabling disease, which progresses rapidly, exhausting her, rendering her unable of continuing with the physical activity she loves. She loses her job and is quickly isolated, home alone, but also isolated by the distance that people put between themselves and the disabled.

In So Lucky, Nicola Griffith takes a strong, focused and self-focused woman and shows what becoming disabled does to a person. Mara is a fighter, and she's quick to turn her attention and experience to helping ms patients advocate for themselves by starting her own non-profit organization.

But this is not, despite the title, an inspiring book about a woman who overcomes odds or who learns acceptance. Mara is angry and her rage, which is open and uncontrolled, is an impressive thing. I'm used to men's rage. There are entire movie franchises and book series based on a man's rage at an injustice done to a woman he fancies, but here is a woman angry about what has happened to her and not about to sit home and suffer quietly. So Lucky not a comfortable book to read, nor is it a perfect book, but it is a worthwhile book. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Mar 16, 2019 |
There was something about the writing here that I didn't find wholly convincing. Perhaps it was a little too autobiographical for fiction, a little too angry when it might have been better served by some dispassion. The off-screen murders and creeping sense that the narrator may be involved never really intrude... and yet... there is an urgency and a righteous anger and a fiery sense of self that comes from these pages. The loss of control that comes with illness. The loss of dignity and the look in other people's eyes, that's what works here and it is gut-wrenching. Not perfect by any stretch, but vital and worthy in all the right ways. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
2019 TOB--I didn't like this book. Didn't like the main character and all her anger and righteousness. If you by some chance have MS, do not read this book--it would not be helpful--in my opinion. ( )
  kayanelson | Mar 7, 2019 |
Disturbing novella thriller where the main thrills come from being trapped in your own body that is betraying you, and the psychological effects that situation engenders. This isn't my usual genre, but it was well worth reading. ( )
  pammab | Jan 5, 2019 |
This short, compelling novel is a window in to the experience of being diagnosed with MS/becoming disabled. It's not a fun journey but I know, given the author's experience, that it is a realistic one. It'd an important viewpoint and an important contribution to literature.

Also, like everything Griffith writes, it's beautifully written. Each word is carefully chosen. An engrossing and quick read. ( )
  chavala | Dec 29, 2018 |
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