Sorrow and Bliss


Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss revolves around the 40 year-old Martha and her mental illness. While the author purposefully never names Martha’s diagnosis, we learn she has returned to live at her parents’ home in London after her husband has walked out on her and the marriage. Her husband, Patrick, has been patient and loving, but Martha’s illness has conquered even his strong reserves. Once back in her childhood home, Martha ruminates on her past, her marriage, and why she ‘is the way she is.’ Her sister, Ingrid, about to have a fourth child, tries to intervene in a helpful way, but at some point all of Martha’s family are at a loss as to how to help her. Meg Mason describes Martha’s fumblings with humor although we know she can’t control herself. Sorrow and Bliss is an interesting study of a woman wishing she were healthy and her family who try to support her.

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