‘It just has to be Sorrow and Bliss!’ When I asked The Grown-Up Girls BookClub OG star Jules (Julie Collard) what book she thought we just had to do for bookclub, she didn’t even need a minute to think – Sorrow and Bliss by Aussie author had her vote!
So, my friends, in this episode Jules and I take a particularly deep dive into this great book. Sorrow and Bliss is Meg Mason’s 3rd book and was released in September 2020. The book is best described as a series of vignettes written by 40 year old Martha in the aftermath of her separation from her husband. She is thinking back over her life and trying to better understand it, and more importantly, herself. It is both hilarious and heartbreaking- the title is competely apt!
Mason, who was born in New Zealand and now lives in Sydney, is the author of two previous works, the memoir Say It Again in a Nice Voice, published in 2012, and the novel You Be Mother, published in 2017. She started writing Sorrow and Bliss in 2019 after grappling for months with a manuscript that she described as being ‘absolutely rotten to the core’. It was only once Mason had a 40,000 word draft that she had the courage to show her publisher. “I remember describing it to my editor at one point – because it was so different – as the funniest career suicide note I’d ever written,” she says. “I was really surprised when she said no, let’s do it.”
Jules and I go really deep when workshopping this book. We talk about love, sisterly relationships, mental illness, parenting, the power of a diagnosis – all triggered by our reading of the book, of course!
At the end of the episode, I ask Jules for her score for this book – she gives it a 10! No more words required people!
You can listen to our full chat on the podcast via the link below.
You can buy the book here.
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