What to expect

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

‘Both fantastically dark and almost unbearably funny… Just read it. It’s unforgettable’
India Knight, The Sunday Times

‘It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud… Mason pulls off something extraordinary in this huge-hearted novel’
Clare Clark, Guardian

‘Summer’s must-read novel’
Stylist

‘Utterly compelling and darkly funny: the book you have to read this summer’
Evening Standard

‘A raucously funny, beautifully written, emotion-bashing book’
The Times

‘I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realised that I wanted to send it to everyone I know’
Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

‘A masterclass on family, damage and the bonds of love’
Jessie Burton, author of The Confession

‘Patrick Melrose meets Fleabag. Brilliant’
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick.

So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?

Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.

Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix – or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.

Critics Review

  • This richly spiced novel is a pleasure from the first page to the last... 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.

    SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
  • The most wonderful, heartbreakingly gorgeous novel of the year.

    THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, YOU MAGAZINE
  • It is impossible to read this novel and not be moved. It is also impossible not to laugh out loud… Mason pulls off something extraordinary in this huge-hearted novel, alchemising an unbearable anguish into something tender and hilarious and redemptive and wise, without ever undermining its gravity or diminishing its pain.

    GUARDIAN
  • Inspired storytelling… a devastating and sharply funny love story… it is Martha’s voice itself – her woeful deadpan narration always teetering between the comic, the tragic and the downright unlikable – that makes this novel sing.

    OBSERVER
  • Probably the best book you’ll read this yearBrilliant, bleak, hilarious: the book of the summer.

    THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
  • Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason’s first novel to be published in the UK, is as wonderful as everyone says it is. Blunt, tender, hilarious, and so very good on the trickiness of families, it is that rare perfect balance of fun (commercial) and difficult (literary), and exactly the book to read right now, when you need a laugh, but want to cry.

    THE OBSERVER MAGAZINE

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