Forty year old Martha Friel is beautiful, clever, and painfully awkward. She is also dealing with mental illness that has been misdiagnosed for years. The story begins as Martha’s devoted husband, Patrick, is leaving her just after her birthday party, which he planned and threw. We then flash back to when she was 17 and her already unusual life took a dramatic turn. Meg Masons writing ranges smoothly from funny to heartbreaking as it deals with family issues, mental health, love, and life’s ups and downs. A very enjoyable read.— Laura B
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.
'Sorrow and Bliss is a brilliantly faceted and extremely funny book about depression that engulfed me in the way I'm always hoping to be to be engulfed by novels. 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' Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
'I am adding Sorrow and Bliss to my list of the best novels of 2020.' The Australian
'Such a good book and so richly warrants the Fleabag reference... So funny, so devastating, it's really spiky and completely compelling, I absolutely loved it' Annabel Crabb
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.
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 JANN MEDLICOTT ACORN PRIZE FOR FICTION in the NZ BOOK AWARDS
'This is a romance, true, but a real one ... as devastating and sharply witty as Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag.' Books+Publishing
'A triumph. A brutal, hilarious, compassionate triumph.' Alison Bell, The Letdown
'A heartbreaking debut ... simultaneously funny and sad-and aching..Witty and stark, Martha's emotionally affecting story will delight fans of Sally Rooney' Publishers Weekly starred review
'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
'Sharp yet humane, and jaw-droppingly funny, this is the kind of novel you will want to press into the hands of everyone you know. Mason has an extraordinary talent for dialogue and character, and her understanding of how much poignancy a reader can take is profound. A masterclass on family, damage and the bonds of love: as soon as I finished it, I started again.' Jessie Burton, bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Confession
'Sophisticated and often blackly funny'Sydney Morning Herald
'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