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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling author of Commonwealth)

"I am adding Sorrow and Bliss to my list of the best novels of 2020." (The Australian)

"Both fantastically dark and almost unbearably funny ... its beautifully understated, airy style conceals the fiercest intelligence. I loved it so much that I stalked the author on social media - a first. Just read it. It's unforgettable." (India Knight, The Times)

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

©2020 Meg Mason (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

'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)

What listeners say about Sorrow and Bliss

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I was 100% consumed, involved and personally reflective and affected.

Just read Sorry and Bliss in 48hours. It's amazing. Dark, sad, super dry and witty. Incredible dysfunctional characters which are hilariously lovable and genuinely relatable. Written very sparingly, which is clever, observant and so very real. Bravo to Hannah Mason who portrays Martha perfectly. I was 100% consumed, involved and personally reflective and affected.

3 people found this helpful

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Well narrated but a bit depressing

I enjoyed this audiobook, the narrator was especially good. Very well written but overall quite depressing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MEW
  • 07-10-2020

Oh but this book does go on and on. Ad nauseam

I assume readers of these types of book will have some lingering attachment to mental health. Poor Martha. Poor Patrick. Was she ever taught any logic? How could be endure her behaviour? Picking up after her time after time. No. This would not occur in the normal world. And what would the purpose be of calling her diagnosis x? I simply skipped to the end and found basically I could have read the book in five minutes.

2 people found this helpful

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wonderful

listened to this book at a very difficult time in my life and it hit very close to home. a truly heartbreakingly beautiful story.

1 person found this helpful

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Rings true, as far as can be known by an outsider.

If you have ever lived with someone thus afflicted, you should "enjoy" it. It sheds a warm and loving light on the misery of mental illness, for those who suffer it, and for those around them who suffer.

1 person found this helpful

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A gift of a book

I felt in very good hands the moment this story started. Such insight, honesty and rawness. I would listen again and I never do that. Now that I’m finished I am grieving the end of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Golden

Why did it have to end! So funny and dark and hopeful and morbid. The only improvement could possibly have been to have read it in print.

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Bliss

I loved this very real account of modern life. The dry humour and ugly honesty. The voice of the reader has ruined me for all other readers. Perfection.

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Absolutely loved it

I’ll miss all the characters, this book will definitely stay with me

Also beautifully read

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I personally didn't love it..

was narrated well but the story itself I found boring. I felt as though it never really went anywhere.

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