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Sorrow and Bliss
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
101 posts | 69 read | 1 reading | 94 to read
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. For fans of Sally Rooney, Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Fleabag. 'A triumph. A brutal, hilarious, compassionate triumph.' Alison Bell, The Letdown ''I just adored this book. It's timely and dark and poignant and funny. It was filled with such eviscerating compassion and rage; I couldn't get enough of it. I inhaled it in a single weekend, unable to put it down. Meg Mason is a searing talent.' Kate Leaver, The Friendship Cure 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. 'This is a romance, true, but a real one ... as devastating and sharply witty as Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag.' Books+Publishing '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
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sailu112
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
Pickpick

This book follows the crazy life of Martha who seems to know what she wants and intentionally(and sometimes unintentionally ) destroys it and hopes things were not how they turned out. This follows her mental illness but doesn‘t make us feel too sympathetic(not in a bad way) but shows the reality from close quarters.

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Frankies.space
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Navigating a mental health condition but was well written and funny

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rockpools
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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💖💖💖

Thank you so much @Caroline2 ! I‘ve seen such amazing reviews of this from so many people (and yet I really know nothing about it)!

I can‘t wait 😁. Thank you 😘

Caroline2 You‘re welcome! Sorry it‘s a bit late, been one of those weeks. I hope you had a lovely birthday. 🎉🍰🥂 1w
sarahbarnes I loved this one! 1w
rockpools @Caroline2 It was a fantastic surprise. I hope your weekend‘s a vast improvement on your week! 1w
rockpools @sarahbarnes 😁 🎉❤️ 1w
60 likes4 comments
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Hazel2019
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I love, love, LOVE this book! It is deep, impactful, and brilliantly thought provoking, with flashes of humor (yes, at times made me chuckle). And as the title states, there is sorrow and and there is bliss. It follows Martha, with debilitating mental health issues, as she goes through life and focuses on how the mental health issues affect both her and those around her. You must read the whole thing to truly understand it‘s brilliance.

Karisa I loved this one too! One of my top 5 books from this year. So well done! 2w
jlhammar Such a good book. Great review! 2w
85 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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sarahbarnes
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

This book packed a real punch for me. It is one of the most authentic stories about mental illness I‘ve read, I think. I alternated between laughing and crying throughout and couldn‘t put it down. It resonated with me in so many ways, and I‘m grateful to Meg Mason for writing it.

jlhammar Same here! Great review. 3w
sarahbarnes @jlhammar ❤️❤️ 3w
Megabooks Agree 💯💯 3w
sarahbarnes @megabooks ❤️❤️ 3w
29 likes4 comments
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Librarybelle
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

This one is a hard one to review. On the one hand, there are so many instances of cringeworthy situations & people that it‘s like reading/listening to things well beyond anyone‘s control. And yet, isn‘t that the point? Martha tells her story, and it becomes clear quite quickly that she is an unreliable narrator. But, it is also apparent that she lives with a mental illness (the author‘s note states her illness does not have a specific IRL name)⬇️

Librarybelle As someone who knows firsthand mental illness, there were parts of this book that rang true, and could become triggering to some readers. In the end, this is a book about family, friends, love, and support in all of its ways. My favorite quote - “I have been unbearable but I have never been unloved. I have felt alone but I have never been alone and I‘ve been forgiven for the unforgivable things I have done.” 3w
squirrelbrain Great review Jess! 3w
82 likes3 comments
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RealLifeReading
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Negronis chasing me around, book after book. (See previous post)

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Lindy
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

I almost bailed, but I like the audiobook narrator—Emilia Fox—& I told myself this is shortlisted for the Women‘s Prize so stick with it longer & then I was stung twice by a yellowjacket & so I took a Benadryl & fell asleep listening at about 4 hours in & then my phone battery died while I slept & I decided to proceed with the final 4 hours instead of going back to the 3-hour segment I‘d missed & I loved it! (Feel free to skim the middle third.)

ChaoticMissAdventures This is a rollercoaster of a reading experience! Hope you are feeling okay now. 3w
MrsMalaprop Oh dear. That sounds harrowing. Glad you liked it in the end. 3w
Prairiegirl_reading I totally stalled on this one. This inspires to go back and try again!! 3w
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kspenmoll What a crazy time reading!!! Hope your bee sting is ok! 3w
Lindy @ChaoticMissAdventures @kspenmoll Thanks for your concern. 🤗 It‘s been about 36 hours and the swelling has subsided considerably and I‘m feeling better. 3w
Lindy @Prairiegirl_reading Sometimes we just need to break the rules and skip the boring stuff! 3w
Lindy @MrsMalaprop Yes, a happy outcome. 😁 3w
sarahbarnes I‘m so sorry for what happened, but this account of events is quite amazing. 😂 3w
Lindy @sarahbarnes Thanks, Sarah! 3w
49 likes9 comments
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Lindy
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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She asked me what I did and I told her I created content so that people could consume it.

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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason

I told her the only piece I could remember exactly was a bronze fertility sculpture that was in the hallway for a while, directly inside the front door, and only because its phallus was so pronounced that, as she said at the time, when it inadvertently got turned ninety degrees it was like a fucking boom gate. Ingrid said she remembered it as well.
'I started hanging my PE bag on it.'

Karisa Loved that book! It‘s so funny while also being so melancholy. I‘ve been trying to recommend it to people but they just look like “why would I want to read that?” Hard to explain just how readable the book is given the topic! 😂 4w
41 likes1 comment
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In_the_stacks
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Panpan

I posted a review of this book yesterday & then took it down, because sometimes I feel a bit anxious about having such strong negative feelings about a book that people loved…especially a book that is supposed to be about mental illness. But I HATED this book, & I didn‘t think that it was a realistic portrayal of mental illness. I‘m reposting here because I am curious whether other Litsy readers had a similar reaction.

Tamra I think it‘s helpful to have a variety of reactions to books to reflect upon. Feelings are feelings. (I haven‘t read this one yet.) (edited) 1mo
In_the_stacks @Tamra yes, definitely true 👍😊 1mo
reading_rainbow I always feel bad when I hate a book that‘s generally loved by most and often delete my bad review as well lol 1mo
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jlhammar I agree with @Tamra. One of the things I love about books is that people can have such different reactions to the same text. I personally enjoyed reading this book and found it smart and funny, but I know you are not alone in your feelings (@Vansa has had some strong reactions to this one recently that I've appreciated) and I, for one, welcome your honest review even if it differs from mine. Gives me more to think about! 1mo
In_the_stacks @reading_rainbow I do this a lot too 😬 glad I‘m not the only one 😊 1mo
In_the_stacks @jlhammar yes, I loved reading @Vansa ‘s posts on Litsy about this book as well. 👍😊 1mo
Vansa Litsy's the only social media space where I honestly feel secure enough to post anything negative about well-loved books,I've noticed that pile-ons almost never happen here, and it's very 'live and let live'.Any user I've interacted with has always been willing to accept the existence of other points of view and share their (completely valid)opinions as well!Which makes it a more interesting engagement! 4w
In_the_stacks @Vansa litsy is definitely the. OST positive and supportive social media space around, I agree 👍😊 4w
27 likes8 comments
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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OH MY GOD someone please get these girls out of that school immediately, they're going to be getting a boring clueless narcissist to give them advice on something that could affect their lives. Also really? Is it that easy to get jobs in England?? Incredible.

BarbaraBB I don‘t have the impression you‘re enjoying the book 🤣. Kudos for not giving up! 1mo
Vansa @BarbaraBB ??" not enjoying" is a huge understatement for just how obnoxious I find this book! I have finally finished it, much to my husband's relief, since he no longer has to listen to me ranting about it!! 1mo
BarbaraBB Haha you made that clear! I‘m in no hurry to read the book now! 1mo
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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😂😂😂This is so completely untrue about Martha. She doesn't fight for anything, she doesn't bother to listen to anyone, she's selfish and condescending and patronising and utterly boring. This is all tell and not show, something female writers of the last 5 years love doing.She has literally no friends,so she's definitely not the life and soul of the party

In_the_stacks YES. When I read this I thought, Have I completely misread this book? Because this doesn‘t seem to describe Martha at all. I am into reading about complicated characters, but Martha didn‘t seem particularly complicated or nuanced to me. The first 2/3s of the book did not portray this side of Martha at all. 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks not at all.Also it really annoyed me that just when she needed it,her mother suddenly did a 180 degree character turn and was amazingly supportive-I wish things like that would happen in real life,but they don't.If you are unfortunate enough to have a narcissistic parent, they will not suddenly change-it's not in their mental makeup to even want to change.And that's all it took for her to stop being an alcoholic?Again,if only! 4w
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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WHAT??? Where did this even COME from?Have authors forgotten that character development is an integral part of writing?This facet of this completely banal protagonist is not developed AT AlL throughout the book,and is now suddenly dropped on the reader.Till now,she has shown no sympathy to her(bafflingly)constantly pregnant sister,never helps her with her children,shows absolutely no interest in anyone else-none of which indicates(1/2)

Vansa (2/2) in motherhood. Further, I cannot for the life of me understand why authors in 2022 have characters who do not even vaguely consider adoption as a viable alternative for those who do not want to get pregnant but want to be mothers.This nonsensical book.How are people able to enjoy it. 1mo
Karons1 @Vansa it‘s a huge hit over here 👈 uk 🇬🇧 we seem to like unreliable narrators 😆haven‘t read it myself yet but lots of reviews And podcasts say it‘s fantastic and opens a door into the world of Someone struggling with mental health issues or maybe 🤔 they‘re just narcissist, sounds like my sister in law we didn‘t hear a thing from her last year when my dad died now she‘s having relationship issues and won‘t leave us alone? (edited) 4w
Vansa @Karons1 I was conned into buying the book by all the rave reviews from the Guardian!!I like unreliable narrators too,but this narrator isn't an interesting character with much inner life-it reads more as one long whine.I just finished the stellar tagged book,and I felt Meg Mason ripped off the..vibe of that and failed utterly at it.It doesn't work as a sympathetic portrayal of mental health because it's so badly written.(1/2) 4w
Vansa @Karons1 oh i have a lot of experience with people with narcissistic personality disorder-my mother and a very close friend and I can only offer you sympathy, they're very hard to deal with! 4w
9 likes4 comments
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Slightly confused. A doctor literally gave her the right diagnosis when she was 18, only for it to be dismissed by her mother. A doctor has given her the right diagnosis again. Other doctors, who are not psychiatrists or mental health experts are now to be castigated for not diagnosing her correctly?? How did not a single editor find this completely ridiculous?

In_the_stacks This idea of the “right” diagnosis suddenly fixing everything is also very strange to me. I feel like anyone who has spent any time undergoing assessment/ treatmentfor mental health issues knows how fluid and imprecise diagnosis can be, especially over many decades, and how even good doctors and good therapists can disagree on a diagnosis. I don‘t think diagnosis is as clear cut as this book seems to assume. 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks could not agree more.It's also a bit of a disservice being done in the guise of a book dealing frankly with “mental health“-for people with chronic,debilitating issues,it's not so easy as waving a magic wand and getting one perfect diagnosis.Further,a sustained course of medication can help alleviate symptoms to some extent,which Martha does not adhere to at all,and then blames the doctors. 4w
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Find me a more patronising, condescending sentence that thinks it's profound. Confusing narcissism with profundity and depth is ironically enough, one of the most shallow ways to write.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Really? Swipes at In Our Time now? I've listened to more than 50 episodes and to dismiss this always thoughtful, well researched radio show just for a bit of virtue signalling, when the narrator herself absolutely never listens to anyone or cares about anyone else's opinions, is such bad, again, banal (clearly a word I'm going to over use while talking about this book)writing.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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How edgy. How subversive. How completely juvenile and more fitting for a 16 year old to say to her parents than a woman who's over 30.🙄🙄

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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I am in complete awe of a woman who is so entitled, clueless, ignorant of history and completely un-self aware, that she can toss out an adjective like "Stasi-like" so casually, completely oblivious to the very real historical connotations.Its not cheeky Brit humour.Its just sheer banality.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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What?? Why?? Literal DESPAIR from a hotel restaurant?? Seriously? What are these sentences? Is this book a joke being played on the reader? I am being driven into a state of existential despair when I contemplate the state of book publishing that sentences like this make it through editors.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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One of the most historical, artistic places in the world, and this is all Meg Mason has to say about it. After page after page of railing against banal tourists. Is there something completely wrong with book critics and the literary establishment that they're willing to reward this drivel? Am I secretly a masochist that I'm willing to plough on with this drivel?

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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One more gibe at tourists. What have they done to Meg Mason, herself a non-Londoner from New Zealand, I wonder. Also if tourists are so completely awful for the city, I wonder why London is so actively courting them ,post covid.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Wow. No sign of the protagonist showing the slightest interest in literature or reading, but of course she must condescend to paying customers. Why not. Also is it this easy to get a visa and stay in Paris for 4 years if one is a white British person? Wow. Nice work if you can get it. Presumably Brexit will make things harder. One can only hope.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Is this book meant to be a fairytale??? Whom do things like this happen to? You're depressed and your boss gives you his flat in Paris to stay in? The more I read this book, the more shocked I am by it's utter mediocrity and unself-awareness and the rave reviews.

In_the_stacks I just finished Sorrow& Bliss as well, & it was a definite pan for me. I‘m surprised by all of the rave reviews- everyone I know who‘s read it loved it. But I found the author‘s treatment of mental illness & its fallout completely unrealistic- I couldn‘t relate to any of the characters- I didn‘t even like the characters I think I was supposed to like!- & Ididn‘t find it very funny. Glad to hear that I‘m not the only one who didn‘t warm up to it! (edited) 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks terrible book. None of the characters were developed at all!Everyone was one-note,and the author seems to think that's enough to suggest great character depth.I have literally read Harlequin category romances with more insight 😂After a point I continued with it to see just how banal it could get,and it didn't disappoint.I got no sense of who Patrick is-what is his inner life?Does she want to stay married to him because it's easy?! 1mo
10 likes2 comments
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Chrissyreadit
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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I‘m so very sad to learn that @ReadingEnvy has died. If you have not listened to her podcast before I want to share it again here- it‘s a GREAT podcast, and always felt like I was part of the conversation as a listener. In addition @Centique has created an event to in memorial of Jenny. Choosing from her book recommendations will be challenging- or a Re listen to her older episodes May be in order. For those close to her I am so sorry ❤️‍🩹

MoonWitch94 How very sad 😔 1mo
TheBookHippie It‘s so sad. 1mo
Centique Thank you so much for posting this Chrissy 💔 1mo
Dragon 💔 1mo
70 likes4 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

A singular portrait of Martha, a woman struggling to live through mental illness, and the effect on those who love her. Her acerbic wit brings a layer of humour, which lightens the frustration, anger, and heartbreak just enough to be tolerable but never not uncomfortable (please note that I mean that as a huge compliment, it is never meant to be a comfortable story). The portrayal of Martha's loved ones is beautifully rendered 👇

TheKidUpstairs (Cont'd) they are neither selfless helpers nor ignorantly helpless, but rather fully, genuinely human. They approach her with love and frustration and love their own lives in the midst. I cried a lot in the last 1/4, her mother's letter undid me. Highly recommend! 1mo
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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Enjoying this book event. #WomensPrize #Shortlist

TrishB Cool 👍🏻 1mo
55 likes1 comment
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Karisa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

One of the best books I‘ve read this year. Sad, honest, funny, awkward—it dives into mental illness and relationships in refreshing ways. It kept me up reading waaay past my bedtime but worth it!

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Billypar
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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For anyone who was a fan of the #ReadingEnvy podcast and hasn't already heard, I'm sorry to report that Jenny Colvin recently passed away unexpectedly. If you knew her and listened to her show, then you already know how amazing of a human being Jenny was: there is a memorial wall on Goodreads that I have linked in the comments if you'd like to share your memories. If you haven't yet, I'd strongly recommend you try her show, also linked below:

Billypar Memorial wall on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/22225628-remembering-jenny-memorial-wall?co...

Jenny‘s Goodreads profile, which features a huge number of shelves and international selections: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/68030-jenny-reading-envy
1mo
Billypar Reading Envy Podcast: http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/p/podcast_16.html This show takes a simple concept of two readers talking about books and transforms it into a community. If you wanted to be on the show, you could just contact Jenny. Is it for a certain kind of reader? Nope. If you loved books, Jenny wanted to talk to you– she welcomed all. The tagged book was the last Jenny posted, so if you‘re scrolling through, you should give it a listen. 1mo
Billypar On a personal note, Jenny was the one who introduced me to Litsy after mentioning it on her show. For my first posts she was the one and only ‘Like‘, which seems like a small thing, but it‘s not always easy to connect with others at first, and I‘m so thankful to her for introducing me to this community, along with so many books through her show and readalongs, and the memorable conversations that went with them. We will all miss her 💔 (edited) 1mo
See All 33 Comments
Ruthiella Thank you for doing this. I will miss her a lot. She also introduced me to Litsy. I loved the podcast and interacting with her here and on Goodreads. She was an amazing person. 💔 (edited) 1mo
vivastory Thank you for posting this. I loved her podcast & being able to talk to her. She was a congenial & thoughtful member of the online book community. 1mo
Dragon 💔 well said. 💚🐉 1mo
Megabooks 💜💜💜 she was one in a million, and I loved her ReadingEnvy read alongs, especially when she did The Secret History. Thank you for sharing. 1mo
BarbaraBB Thank you for creating a place on Litsy dedicated to Jenny. I didn‘t know her very well but she was one of the people who formed Litsy and gave it color and character. Wishing all of you strength with the loss of someone dying far too young 🤍 (edited) 1mo
Centique Thank you so much for posting this Vinny. She was such a special person and I feel so shocked. I loved talking to her when I went in her podcast and she was one of my first friends here too. I wish @Reggie was still active so he could chime in too but I will email him with the news 💔 1mo
rockpools Thank you for posting Vinny - this is such sad news. Jenny welcomed me into her GoodReads groups in pre-Litsy days. Her world-reading projects changed the way I read today, inspiring me to seek out authors from beyond the UK/US. Always so supportive and friendly - I loved the warmth and calm enthusiasm of her podcasts. You‘ll be missed, Jenny. My thoughts go out to her family and friends. 💔 1mo
Susanita 😥 1mo
CBee Awful, sad news 🙁💔 1mo
Chelsea.Poole So sorry to hear this!💔 1mo
britt_brooke Such sad news. 😔 Thank you for letting us know. 1mo
Billypar @Ruthiella Yeah, it's rare to find someone who was so influential and accessible at the same time, and with a good heart. 1mo
Billypar @vivastory It's so true - she engaged a lot of readers via Litsy and herself embodied all the qualities that are special about this community. 1mo
Billypar @Megabooks I really enjoyed the readalongs too! The Secret History may have been my first one. She did a wonderful job leading those. 1mo
Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks so much Barbara 💙 Agreed about her lending color and character to this space from its early days. The individuality and creativity of people like Jenny on Litsy are what got me hooked. 1mo
Billypar @Centique She was so great to talk to: she had a way of putting people at ease through something nerve-wracking like recording a podcast episode and making it feel like an ordinary conversation with a friend. That was one of my favorite things about her show. I was thinking about Reggie - I'm glad you can get in touch with him to let him know. 1mo
Billypar @rockpools I was completely inspired by her reading the world project. Her Goodreads shelves are a great resource for reading other cultures that I plan to keep using. It went with the kind of person she was: calm enthusiasm and warmth are great descriptors. She will certainly be missed by a lot of people. 1mo
Cathythoughts Thanks Vinny, I often listened to Jenny‘s podcasts and I really admired and respected her. She also had the most beautiful speaking voice, I loved to listen to her ❤️ May she rest in peace. 1mo
Billypar Thanks for checking in everyone 💙 @Dragon @Susanita @CBee @Chelsea.Poole @britt_brooke 1mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts It's true - she was a natural on the mic and her personality really showed through each episode. We all love books but she really made books feel like a way of getting to know all different kinds of people, both in talking about characters and in learning about her guests. 1mo
batsy Thanks for sharing. She was also one of my first followers here and the first few to "like"—sounds silly but it really makes you feel welcome. I've been unable to stop thinking about her untimely passing since I heard about it. Just a couple weeks or so before she was posting on Litsy ? 1mo
kspenmoll I am so sorry- I enjoyed her podcast & posts. 😢 1mo
Christine Echoing the thanks for posting about this here. Like @batsy I can't stop thinking about Jenny's passing. Though I only knew her from years of listening to her podcast and her presence/our interactions here, she was a meaningful part of my reading life (which I know is true for so many). I'm so sorry that her bright light has left the world. 1mo
Billypar @batsy I've been thinking about it nonstop too. Apart from the tragedy of anyone dying so young, it's an extra layer to process when it's so sudden and unexpected, and to think about what her family must be going through. She's going to be missed by so many people. 1mo
Billypar Thanks @kspenmoll - her presence in these online bookish spaces was truly special and we will all miss her. 1mo
Billypar @Christine Yeah, I got so many great recommendations from Jenny and the podcast and several that became new favorites. And she left behind so much to remember her. I really admire her enthusiasm for chatting with others about books and how welcoming she was in doing so. 1mo
Chrissyreadit Thank you for sharing this. I‘ve enjoyed both Her posts and her podcast and am so very sad to hear this news. 1mo
Reggie @Billypar thanks for letting us know, Vinny. Thanks for the email and the tag, Paula. @Centique This makes me so sad. She‘s one of the first people I met on here back in 2016. She‘s the first bookish podcast I ever listened to. And just like Litsy she introduced me to whole new worlds of books. Talking to her before we turned on record she was just the nicest and listening to her you knew she tried to be her best self. I will miss her so much. 😭 1mo
Billypar @Chrissyreadit Yeah, her contributions to the community were really special: it's very sad and tough to accept. 1mo
Billypar @Reggie In reading people's stories about how they knew her, it's amazing for how many people Jenny was one of the first to reach out and get them engaged in the online book world. I had the same experience as you when I spoke to her for the show - she was so fun to talk to. I really wanted to get in touch about going back on the show later this year. It's tough meeting someone so authentic, kind, and interesting and then losing them so suddenly. 1mo
47 likes33 comments
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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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I loved Nicholas. He felt like my brother, and never asked why I was twenty-six and jobless and living with my parents and why I only owned one outfit. When I volunteered it, he said, 'I wish marrying a total fuckwit was the worst life-choice I'd ever made.'

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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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"I couldn't last through an entire lecture. I missed whole days and then whole weeks...Towards the end of the term the dean put me on academic probation. He gave me a pamphlet on stress management and told me that I would need to make a good show in my exams if I decided to come back in January. ... Seeing me out of his office he said, 'There's one of you in every cohort,' and wished me a Merry Christmas."

Wow. Helpful...

sarahbarnes I have this one on hold at the library. Looking forward to reading it. 1mo
charl08 @sarahbarnes it made me snort over my lunch today. I might stop reading it in public! 😳 1mo
sarahbarnes Good to know - I‘ll be sure to remember that when I‘m reading it! 😁 1mo
66 likes3 comments
review
Cinfhen
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

A wonderful title for a book that really is full of sorrow and moments of bliss. Martha, a woman nearing 40 has lived her entire life with an unnamed, undiagnosed mental illness that not only effects her life but everyone in her life..from her parents, sister, lovers, husband, aunt, uncle , cousins & acquaintances. I laughed out loud several times as Martha is sharp, witty, insightful, self aware & snarky. But there‘s a lot of pain too. 👇🏼

Cinfhen This book felt completely genuine and there were times I had to stop listening as I felt anxious and overwhelmed 😥 Another book from the #WomansPrizeForFiction22 - maybe not my favorite but I wouldn‘t mind if this won. @squirrelbrain @LeeRHarry 1mo
Megabooks Fantastic review! I loved this last year for pretty much the same reasons. 1mo
Megabooks Btw, this is in my ears today and I think my fav #EightiesGirl would love it 😘😘 1mo
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squirrelbrain Great review Cindy! Which is your favourite? And @Megabooks - that one sounds fantastic! ❤️ 1mo
Cinfhen I think it‘s between Bread and Great Circle @squirrelbrain how about you? I still have one left to read 👉 1mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I‘ve read all but one, and you know I‘m an ozeki believer! I can‘t remember the list closely enough to tell you a fave. Bread is the one I haven‘t read. (edited) 1mo
squirrelbrain S&B is my fave, closely followed by Bread and The Sentence. I loved Great Circle when I read it, but it‘s quite forgettable. The Ozeki is my least favourite unfortunately. 1mo
Cinfhen When is the winner announced @squirrelbrain ?? I‘m still waiting for the Ozeki from my library @Megabooks 1mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain Bread is the one I haven‘t read so I guess I must now!! I hope you like the Ozeki @Cinfhen but I‘m really unsure. 1mo
Megabooks Also I think you‘d both like Out of the Corner. Really good celebrity memoir! @squirrelbrain @Cinfhen 1mo
Cinfhen I‘m pretty unsure myself @Megabooks which is why im waiting to #BorrowNotBuy 😁 1mo
Centique I‘ve already reserved Out of the Corner too although it will take an age as it isn‘t available here yet - I don‘t do many celebrity memoirs but it sounded so good! Hope you‘re enjoying @Megabooks 1mo
TrishB Great review, I loved this one. 1mo
Megabooks @Centique I just finished last night, and I really enjoyed it! I hope you do too! 1mo
Cinfhen This one will probably stay with me @TrishB @Centique which is always a good sign! 1mo
MyNamesParadise I have this book and will get around to reading it eventually! 1mo
Cinfhen It‘s a good one @MyNamesParadise 1mo
MyNamesParadise @Cinfhen good to know! 😊 1mo
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Gleefulreader
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

The cover belies what is inside. This is a story of a woman with an unnamed mental illness and mis-diagnosis, the impact it has on the protagonist‘s life and those around her. While it doesn‘t shy away from the darker moments, it also doesn‘t indulge in prurience and there are also genuine moments of humour. Thoughtful.

Cinfhen Just started this one! It‘s very engaging. I love the sisterhood between Ingrid & Martha 1mo
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Cinfhen
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Thought I‘d read another from the #WomansPrizeForFiction22 #Shortlist
I‘ve heard lots of good things

LeeRHarry @squirrelbrain will be a happy camper! 😆 1mo
Cinfhen I know @LeeRHarry Helen is quite a fan of this novel - I can see why!! Have you read it yet?? 1mo
KarenUK This is up soon for me too… it‘s on my nightstand at least! 😂 1mo
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squirrelbrain LOL @LeeRHarry - have I been banging on about it *that* much?! 🤣 1mo
LeeRHarry @squirrelbrain just a little bit! 🤪 it‘s all good though as I really do want to get to it…so in answer to your question @Cinfhen er nope! 😂 1mo
Cinfhen Hahaha @LeeRHarry @squirrelbrain So far it‘s very engaging ❤️ 1mo
Megabooks Enjoy!! 1mo
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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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... parties were our mother's chief contribution to our domestic life... They overflowed the house, bled from Friday nights into Sunday mornings, and were populated by what our mother described as West London's artistic elite, though the only credential for getting in seemed to be a vague association with the arts, a tolerance for marijuana smoke and/or possession of a musical instrument.

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ReadingEnvy
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

"...No marriage makes sense. Especially not to the outside world. A marriage is its own world." This is said to the narrator by her mother fairly deep into the book, but if you replace "marriage" with "person" it might better encapsulate the novel. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Martha is in her 30s and isn't quite sure what she wants, so the reader sees her in a few relationships and also dealing with her family, who play a prominent role in her life, largely because they live in proximity in the UK. At some point it also becomes about mental illness.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy This took me a while to read (two Libby checkouts) and often felt tedious - the author is able to capture the somewhat obsessive way some people think about relationships and each encounter long past it serving them well, but whew! It makes it take a while to get through.

I stuck with it because it's on the shortlist of the Women's Prize for Fiction.
2mo
charl08 This is the one I still have to finish from the longlist. Need to buckle down and get to it 💪 1mo
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Dragon Always enjoyed your reviews- 💔 1mo
Lindy @Dragon Me too. I‘m shocked and so sad to learn that Jenny has died. 💔 1mo
Dragon @Lindy she was so young. It‘s hard to fathom 💔 1mo
Billypar Adding a link here to Jenny's memorial wall on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/22225628-tribute-to-jenny-memorial-wall?com...

I'm certainly going to miss her @Lindy @Dragon - she inspired so many people.
1mo
Dragon Thanks 🙏 for the link @Billypar 1mo
Centique @Billypar ohhhh I just found out. I am just in total shock right now. Thank you for the link Vinnie 💔 1mo
Cinfhen Thank you for sharing @Billypar this is the most heartbreaking news 💔 1mo
Billypar @Centique @Cinfhen It's tough to accept - I still feel like I'm in shock. Have either of you seen if someone has posted about her passing here? I was thinking of doing that just to make sure everyone knows. 1mo
Cinfhen I haven‘t seen anything @Billypar and I feel like the Litsy community would want to know. Especially since Jenny was on board from the very early days and many were fans of her podcast. 1mo
Billypar @Cinfhen Okay - thanks Cindy! I'll do that now. Jenny was actually the one who introduced me to Litsy via a mention on her podcast. I hope more readers will continue to discover her show and it provides them with the same joy and inspiration it did for so many of us. 1mo
kspenmoll @Billypar Thank you for sharing this devastating new‘s of Jenny‘s death. I have her “ readingenvy pin” which she sent me early on the tea. 1mo
Crazeedi I'm so sorry to hear this , too sad 1mo
marleed So sad :( 1mo
Cinfhen Scroll up @Desha and you will see a link to her GoodReads wall that @Billypar shared 1mo
Billypar @kspenmoll She was so thoughtful! I'm not sure about the pin but I still have some of that home-made tea she sent after I participated in one of the readalongs. 1mo
Desha @Cinfhen thank you so much! 💗 1mo
4thhouseontheleft @Billypar thank you for sharing this devastating news. 💔 1mo
Billypar @4thhouseontheleft Thanks for checking in - I think it helps us all cope to hear from everyone who is missing Jenny 💙 1mo
MatchlessMarie @Billypar I‘m not as active here as I once was. I am so sad to hear about this news. I was always so happy to see her reviews pop up under the majority of books I added to my tbr on Goodreads. She will surely be missed 😢💔 3w
Billypar @MatchlessMarie Yeah, it's still really tough to accept. There's a #RememberingJenny tag where people are posting reviews of books Jenny recommended, which is a nice remembrance. And it's so true about her reviews - for seriously like 90% of the books I've read. 3w
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JillR
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

There‘s been so much fuss about this one that I nearly did that annoying thing I do of avoiding it completely only later to realise I missed out. Anyway, I read it. I went in sceptical; came out in love. Near perfection in the writing and the portrayal of such beautiful relationships against the background of mental illness. And I cried on the tram through the whole Peregrine section.

squirrelbrain Great review, as ever, Jill. This was my favourite from the longlist, so it‘s still my pick to win the #womensprize. 2mo
BarbaraBB This sounds so good. Thanks for putting this on my radar! 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻♥️ I loved this book too. 2mo
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JillR @squirrelbrain thank you 😊. I‘ve been loving your Womens Prize reviews as I‘m slowly lagging behind 😆. I loved this so much I‘m hopeful it could win, although I‘ve only read The Island of Missing Trees from the shortlist so far so can‘t compare with the others yet! 2mo
JillR @barbarabb I loved it, hope you do too 😊 2mo
JillR @cathythoughts thank you 😊 2mo
squirrelbrain The Sentence is a close second for me Jill, but this made my favourites of 2021 as well. 2mo
EvieBee Nice review! I do the same thing. In this case, I only read it because I hadn‘t heard too much about it lol! And of course, ended up as one of my 2021 faves. (edited) 2mo
JillR @eviebee I‘ve realised I do it a lot, then annoy myself when I miss out on a good one as a result 😆 2mo
JillR @squirrelbrain I‘m going to try and get that one from the library, have never read Louise Erdich for some reason 2mo
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charl08
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Not actually started reading this yet, but it's had a good hike around the coast.

tpixie Sometimes just holding a book is enough!! 2mo
Nute I agree with Teri ( @tpixie ). It‘s a strange wonderful truth at times!🙂 2mo
tpixie @Nute 💗 2mo
charl08 @tpixie @Nute True. Hopefully the books (via their weight) are helping me do more exercise too... 2mo
tpixie @charl08 yes!! Double benefits! (edited) 2mo
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LeslieO
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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A very good month for me, quantity and quality! Top two were my favs. #AprilWrapUp

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ChaoticMissAdventures
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Going through a deep bout of insomnia while reading this which is sort of perfect. I cried a bit at the end which I am unsure if it was the book being great or me being exhausted. Either way I think that the mental illness (unnamed) described was so real and accurate it made Martha incredibly real also.
Great, sad story and such a good Women Fiction Prize Long List choice.

melmes Exited to read this soon o 2mo
jlhammar Yay! I'm so glad this one made the shortlist. Hope you are able to get some good sleep soon. 2mo
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BookishTrish
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

A rare book: a realistic yet funny will they won‘t they romance about a couple whose been married for a long time. Lots of focus on mental health and motherhood. Think Sally Rooney by way of This is 40. I really loved it.

TheKidUpstairs This is on my "to buy" list for Independent Bookstore Day this weekend! 2mo
40 likes2 comments
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jlhammar
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Of the nine #womensprize longlisted titles I‘ve read, these six are the ones I‘d be pleased to see on the shortlist tomorrow. Sorrow & Bliss is still my best of the bunch, but I‘m glad I read all of these.

The other three—The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, Great Circle and The Paper Palace—have all found new homes with readers who might appreciate them more than I did.

Suet624 I just took a screenshot of this. Thanks! (edited) 2mo
Ruthiella I‘m super interested in the Violet Kupersmith title . 😀 2mo
charl08 You were close! What did you think of the shortlist? Which one do you want to win? 2mo
jlhammar @charl08 Yes, pretty happy that 4 of the 6 I was hoping to see on the shortlist made it! I thought the Kupersmith had a really good chance so was sad and surprised to see that one left off. It was just so unique. Of the shortlisted titles, S&B is my favorite (though I'd be kind of surprised if it wins), Shafak second fav (I could see this winning), Erdrich third, Ozeki fourth, Great Circle fifth. Still have to read The Bread the Devil Kneads. 2mo
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Beck9lol
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Birthday book extravaganza from my #litsypenpal guys! Wow! I can‘t get over it. She makes getting older so much better. There‘s a bookshop puzzle in the back that‘s hard to see. Also a beautiful journal, the cutest little animals you put on your plants, a female writers mug, and a Jane Austen bookmark and card. Plus four books that are on point. I love it all! I feel extremely blessed and grateful! @Litlady I can‘t thank you enough!!! Thank you!!

Litlady Yay for birthdays and hope this made your month a little brighter, Becky!! 💜🥳🤗🎉📚🎈💐📚 2mo
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mklong
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

A tough read, but well worth it. There are some uncomfortable questions asked about mental illness and its effect on the the sufferer‘s loved ones. It isn‘t all sorrow though, as troubled as she is, Martha is genuinely funny. I‘m so glad the Women‘s Prize put this one on my radar.

Lindy Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I‘m looking forward to reading this. 2mo
Lindy It was the Women‘s Prize that put it on my radar too. 2mo
squirrelbrain This is my favourite from the longlist. 2mo
mklong @lindy Looking forward to your thoughts on it! 2mo
mklong @squirrelbrain So far me too, but I have a few still to read 2mo
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rmaclean4
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Novel about mental illness and love. Also about forgiving your own cruelty. So glad it eneded the way it did. I would be happy if this was in the short list for The Womens Prize. #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks
I finally read the book spin book in the right month!

EvieBee Yay! 🎉 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
charl08 Loooking forward to getting my hands on this one. 2mo
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jlhammar
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Very, very good. Mason writes about living with mental illness in such a smart and thoughtful way. Great characters and so funny! I laughed and I cried. My fifth (and favorite so far) from the #womensprize longlist.

BkClubCare Actually, the cover is ... amusing? Suggests wit and humor? 2mo
EvieBee My favorite book of last year. So good! 2mo
jlhammar @BkClubCare Yes, definitely witty. Lots of great dialogue. I especially loved the exchanges between Martha, the main character, and her sister, Ingrid. 2mo
jlhammar @EvieBee I'm so glad I read it! I'd love to see it make the shortlist. 2mo
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AnneCecilie
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

This book surprised me.

Martha is married to Patrick. She has a sister and her parents. She also has what the doctors have told her is depression.

From the very first paged I was pulled into Martha‘s story and felt everything she felt. All the ups and mostly downs.

This book had me crying more than once.

I liked that after all the sadness, it ended on a hopeful note.

EvieBee I agree. It was so good! 3mo
squirrelbrain I read this last summer and loved it. It‘s my favourite on the #womensprize long list. 3mo
charl08 Your fabourite? OK, sold. I'll try and find a copy. 3mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one too ❤️💔 3mo
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Brimful
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

This accessible thought provoking account of a woman‘s life and experience of mental illness is uplifting as well as insightful. Absorbing funny and very sad. Surely it will be shortlisted for the women‘s prize

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ClairesReads
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Sorrow and Bliss is a very moving exploration of one woman‘s experience of mental illness. Among small moments of comedy, this novel is much more sorrowful than blissful. A bleak, gritty, and authentic exploration of the weight of mental health issues both for those who experience them, and the people in their lives. In spite of how many dreams are left unrealised and how much is lost, somehow Mason still manages to make this a hopeful novel.

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 and totally agree. 3mo
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