This or That: Summer Reading Edition
Just a Slight Inconvenience . . . or Two

Read With Us: Sorrow and Bliss


Often, when I'm writing what Bonny and Carole and I call our "promotional posts" (to try to entice you to Read With Us), I haven't read our selection yet. But this time, I have!


I think Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason is a terrific Read With Us choice. Although the subject matter (mental illness) is dark, the book is nothing like our last selection (Young Mungo), which was really, really dark. So if you've been holding back on picking up Sorrow and Bliss because you just don't want to be emotionally beat up by a book again, well. You can breathe a little easier with this one.

That said, this novel pulls no punches when it comes to the heartbreak that comes from mental illness! Sorrow and Bliss is a searingly honest look at a woman trying to navigate life and relationships with a misdiagnosed mental illness, and it also explores the impact her illness has on family members and loved ones. The novel is sad and heartbreaking, yet it’s also charming, witty, and funny. The characters are authentic, the dialogue is fresh, and the entire storyline moves along at an easy pace.

What was really interesting to me about this book is the author’s refreshing take on not “labeling” the main character’s particular mental illness. In fact, the mental illness featured in the book is completely made up! Without a label, we readers can remain open to what’s actually happening to her, rather than filling in the blanks from our own experience or assumptions.

I'm sure there will be much to discuss when we get together to talk about the book in September!

If you’re wanting more insight into the book, Bonny shared Meg Mason's (she's the author of Sorrow and Bliss) inspiring bulletin board with us last week. And two weeks ago, Carole shared several interviews with Meg Mason (including a fascinating video interview). If you're looking for a good review of the book, here's one from The Guardian.

I do hope you'll pick up a copy and Read With Us.

The book is currently available on Amazon in hardback ($16.69), paperback ($13.09), Kindle ($6.99) or Audible versions (1 credit). Check your local bookstores for a copy, too! The book should also be available at most libraries, without too long a wait. 

Our Read With Us book discussion day will be coming up on Tuesday, September 13. Bonny, Carole, and I will each post discussion questions on our blogs that day, and then - later in the evening (7:00 pm Eastern time zone) - we'll be hosting a live book discussion/meet-up on Zoom.

C'mon along! 
Read With Us!



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I picked up my copy from the library late last week!! Haven't started it yet...but soon.


I am planning to reread it right before we discuss it, but I can already tell from my first read that it's going to be great to talk about!


I need to get back to this pronto (thanks Library Avalanche!) Thanks to Sarah, I discovered this is a book always available on Hoopla!


Based on reviews, not labeling Martha's illness really threw some people, but I thought it was ingenious! It gave me a fresh perspective on her symptoms and actions without assuming everything was due to her disease. I'm looking forward to a re-read in August and our discussion in September!


I agree that not giving the illness a label was brilliant - no preconceived notion about depression or bipolar or anything else - just an honest look at how mental illness can impact a life. I'm looking forward to our discussion in September!


I'm also looking forward to rereading this book. I had it at top of mind to win the Women's Prize because of its fresh perspective (glad BFaE won). The discussions I've had about this book have all been interesting and informative. Can't wait, Kym.


I think I was the first person to get it from the local library, I brought it back today.


Just ordered it from the library!

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