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Sorrow and Bliss: A Novel by Meg Mason
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Sorrow and Bliss: A Novel (edition 2022)

by Meg Mason (Author)

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7262731,523 (3.9)47
Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction!

"Brilliantly faceted and extremely funny. . . . 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." â?? Ann Patchett

The internationally bestselling sensation, a compulsively readable novelâ??spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark, and tenderâ??that Emma Straub has named one of her favorite books of the year

Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-Ă -terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrickâ??the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happyâ??has just moved out.

Because there's something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn't know what's wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks.

And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of Londonâ??to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her.

But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herselfâ??and she'll find out that she's not quite f… (more)

Member:ccayne
Title:Sorrow and Bliss: A Novel
Authors:Meg Mason (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial (2022), 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:read 2024, depression, marriage

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Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

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» See also 47 mentions

English (25)  Dutch (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I wanted to like this, but I didn't. I found it claustrophobic and depressing. ( )
  ccayne | May 15, 2024 |
Nicely structured story of a young woman confronting mental illness written with humor and honesty.
Loved Author Claire Fuller's metaphor for this book: If The Bell Jar and Flea Bag had a child = Sorrow and Bliss. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
Sorrow and Bliss, unf. This book made me ugly-cry. It was pretty close to the bone. ( )
  punkinmuffin | Apr 30, 2024 |
This is emotionally difficult to read. I was honestly ready to give up halfway through. Am I glad I finished it? Meh. Glad enough to give it 3.5 stars. Reading it is like watching an impending train wreck: You know that it’s going to be bad, that there will be tons of carnage, and, really, you just want to close your eyes and find out if everyone is going to be okay. There are lots of rave reviews for this book, so it may have been the wrong time for me—because I thought I’d enjoy this one much more than I did. The writing is authentic and quick-paced, the characters are witty and dysfunctional, but it just missed the higher marks on my lit-fic-loving meter.

Martha, a 40-year-old food writer, has an undefined mental illness that impacts all aspects of her life—obviously—to the breaking point of her husband, Patrick, leaving her shortly after her fortieth birthday. The majority of the book is told in sequential flashbacks from her childhood, outlining the close relationship she has with her snarky sister in contrast to the cold relationship she has with her dysfunctional mother, to her crumbling present day, moving back into her childhood home. Through the flashbacks, there’s a roadmap mired in bleakness and frustration where we watch Martha navigate the land mines of this disease, struggling with not being “normal” and not having any control over her emotions and not being free of harmful thoughts. ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
Sorrow and Bliss is a smiling through tears kind of book - heartbreakingly sad one minute and laugh out loud funny the next.

Super close sisters Martha (the clever one) and Ingrid (boobs and babies) share a bohemian upbringing with mum, minorly important sculptor and drinker Celia Barry predominantly locked away in her repurposing shed, and dad, study-bound poet Fergus Russell struggling with his long overdue anthology when not packing his bags. All-night parties, half-finished projects and grilled pork chops are the norm until a little bomb goes off in Martha’s brain when she is seventeen.

Meg Mason manages to temper serious issues (the different specialists, different diagnoses, different advice and different prescriptions; the stigma and discrimination attached to mental illness and its consequences; the devastating effect on both the afflicted and their loved ones; depression and dysfunction) with humour (full-on family festivities with Aunt Winsome, all things Jonathan Parker, text emojis - aubergine, cherries and open scissors!) and tender, heartfelt moments (alphabet stories, shared strips of comfort flannel, the meaning of motherhood and the lost little boy that was Patrick) as we follow Martha on her journey of self discovery.

A totally immersive, extremely moving and thought-provoking read.
Soul-searching, sad and smiley. ( )
  geraldine_croft | Mar 21, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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Ai miei genitori e a mio marito
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Eravamo a un matrimonio, poco dopo il nostro. Seguii Patrick, facendomi strada tra la fitta folla del ricevimento fino a una donna in piedi da sola.
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Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction!

"Brilliantly faceted and extremely funny. . . . 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." â?? Ann Patchett

The internationally bestselling sensation, a compulsively readable novelâ??spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark, and tenderâ??that Emma Straub has named one of her favorite books of the year

Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-Ă -terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrickâ??the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happyâ??has just moved out.

Because there's something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn't know what's wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks.

And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of Londonâ??to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her.

But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herselfâ??and she'll find out that she's not quite f

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Book description
Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-à-terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrick—the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happy—has just moved out.

Because there’s something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn’t know what’s wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks.

And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of London—to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her.

But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herself—and she’ll find out that she’s not quite finished after all.
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