Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Read With Us: Sorrow and Bliss and Meg Mason

The summer Read With Us book is Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. Last week, Carole shared several reasons why we think you should read this book (and join the discussion in September); this week it's my turn. 

From the publisher's blurb: "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."

What's wrong with Martha is that she is mentally ill and has been for quite a while, and Meg Mason writes about how this illness has impacted Martha and her family. It's sad, moving, and emotionally intense with plenty of highs and lows, yet still has moments of humor. I'm looking forward to rereading it later this summer and also eagerly anticipating our discussion in September. If ever a book cried out to be discussed, it's Sorrow and Bliss

When I'm writing Read With Us posts, I often check out the author's website. Meg Mason has one of the most interesting ones I've seen recently. 

If I'm in someone's house and they have a bulletin board, I'm often fascinated by what they've chosen to pin up. I spent some time squinting at Meg Mason's, trying to read it, but if you go here you can see the photos and clippings clearly, and read Meg's thoughts about them. There are a couple that have to do with Sorrow and Bliss (a line from Max Porter's Grief is the Thing With Feathers and a note the author wrote to herself). There are bits from other authors like George Saunders and Ian McEwan, and enough links to send you down various rabbit holes for quite a while. I've spent over an hour looking at things, including a map of the Hebrides, and still haven't gotten to everything. Maybe a peek at Meg Mason's bulletin board will pique your interest in Sorrow and Bliss

Kym will be doing a post about the book next Tuesday, and you've got plenty of time (eight weeks!) to read the book before discussion day on September 13, 7:00 pm Eastern time. We'll ask questions on our blogs that day and then host the always fun, educational, and entertaining Zoom discussion. How do you determine whether a person's behavior can be attributed to their mental illness or whether it is due to them simply behaving badly on their own? I hope you'll Read With Us and find out!


  1. What a fascinating bulletin board! I'm looking forward to our discussion, I really loved this book.

  2. Oooo! What fun! I LOVE a good bulletin board/vision board. I'm going to head over and check Meg Mason's version out today. I really liked Sorrow and Bliss, and I, too, am looking forward to our discussion in September. XO

  3. I, too, am really looking forward to rereading and discussing this one. And that bulletin board! I kind of want to see what some of my favorite authors have pinned to their bulletin boards now -- kind of like getting a peek into a writer's brain, isn't it?

  4. Oh my! What utterly delightful little rabbit holes you've shared Bonny! I was about half way through and the library avalanche began...I put Sorrow and Bliss aside (it is on Hoopla and always available) and I think I will be able to return to it this week! Thank you so much for those links!

  5. What a fun and interesting bulletin board! I just put myself in queue for this book at my library...only one person in front of me!

  6. I read this book earlier this year and it was one of my top choices for the Woman's Prize. I'd love to reread it with you and discuss it come September. I'm heading down a few of those rabbit holes!


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