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Read With Us: Sorrow and Bliss Discussion Time

Dear readers, the day has come to discuss our summer Read With Us selection, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. I read it so long ago that I needed to do a bit of a refresher in order to write this post. But here we are . . . and here are my questions for you.

I want to know what you think of the characters in this book, in particular Martha, but also Patrick and Martha’s extended family . . . Aunt Winsome, her mother Celia and father Fergus, and her sister Ingrid. Do you like them or dislike them? Do they feel like real people or stereotypes? Would you want to hang out with them? Do you see them as being supportive of one another?

I’m not going to respond to these questions here but I am looking forward to reading your answers in the comments and hoping to talk about them more tonight in our Zoom session.

Be sure and visit Bonny and Kym today to join in the discussions on their blogs and let me know if you’d like an invite to tonight’s Zoom.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I read the book and am very interested to hear what others thought about it.
    Yes, please invite me to the discussion. Thanks!

  2. I do think they felt real… I believe that Mason did an excellent job of bringing the reader into the life of Martha… as well as the lives of those around her.

    I initially felt some frustration with Celia… but the more the story progressed, I understood why she did what she did (or didn’t do actually!)

    I can’t wait for our discussion tonight!

  3. I thought the characters seemed real (if a bit eccentric), with the right amount of likability. I’m still on the fence about Martha, but Patrick went above and beyond before he got fed up, and I really liked Martha and Ingrid’s relationship. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts tonight!

  4. I really liked all the characters in the book — even Martha (who did infuriate me, but I was still rooting for her). I think the author did a great job creating authentic characters who engaged in genuine relationships — warts and all. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Martha and Ingrid. It seemed very . . . real . . . to me, and in many ways, reminded me of how my sister and I interact with each other. I also really liked Winsome, and could understand her need to control and take charge of her life (and everyone else’s!) based on her own upbringing . . . all that tiptoeing around and through her mother’s mental illness. As I read, I was struck by how supportive Martha’s family “network” was in helping her get through her mental illness as well as she did. Support can’t “fix” mental illness, but it can provide a safe landing spot (or at least for a while). My heart breaks for all the people suffering from mental illness . . . with no support at all.

  5. I thought she did an excellent job of creating characters that felt real but also somewhat ridiculous and hilarious. In many ways I thought some characters were a bit more caricature, but I think that’s what added to both the humor and the poignancy of the book.

  6. I thought the characters felt very real, and I enjoyed reading about the relationships between the characters-with each other and with Martha. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Martha and her sister.
    I look forward to our discussion tonight!

  7. I think Patrick hung in there much longer than many people might have. Martha frustrated me but I did like the relationship with her and Ingrid.

  8. I really enjoyed this book and the characters felt very real to me, other than perhaps Patrick, who put up with more than most people would. I enjoyed the relationship between the 2 sets of sisters and how different they all were.

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