Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mad Girl - Bryony Gordon - scarily frank

My Review

I started reading this book not really knowing quite what to expect, I haven’t read Bryony’s other books and I was kind of expecting some Biographical chick-lit Bridget Jones Diary type thing! – Duh - wrong!

What I got was a rather scary and frank insight into a childhood and life, with OCD and depression and way more that I could relate to than I felt comfortable with. After all, the author is telling us quite frankly that she’s nutty as a fruitcake and yet an awful lot of what she does and thinks are thoughts and feelings I’ve had myself. It didn’t make me think “So what defines madness?” more “So what exactly IS normal?” and the answer my friends – is exactly the same!

It really makes you think about where we draw the line at what’s acceptable and what isn’t, at what point quirks become phobias and phobias turn into overwhelming life altering obsessions.

Part of the effectiveness is the erratic nature, it’s rather disjointed, jumping about, back and forth with the author looking back at her childhood and growing up, the sheer randomness of her thoughts recorded on paper read so much more effectively than a neatly ordered chronological resume and capture the authors mental state perfectly.

That she is a huge success proves to all of us that we are not defined by what is "wrong" with us but how we deal with it and face it.

Bryony manages to retain her great sense of humour and the ability to laugh at her own shortcomings and she did make me laugh an awful lot. But underneath her whole story is a dreadful overriding sense of horror and recognition which quite frankly scared the pants off me as well as entertaining me and making me warm to her.

If you know anyone who has or had mental health issues or if you yourself have ever struggled to conform, wondered why you can't keep friends, had obsessive thoughts or made yourself sick after bingeing on junk food, read this. If you haven't - read it anyway it's a damn good book.

My thanks go to Headline Press for my advance review copy.

The Blurb

On the surface it seems that Bryony Gordon has the perfect life. One of the UK's most successful journalists she is married to a man she loves with a two-year-old daughter she adores. 

Yet inside Bryony's head things are never as straightforward as they seem. Is it possible that she's murdered someone and can't remember? Why did her hair fall out when she was a teenager? Is she capable of hurting her daughter? Has she mysteriously contracted an STD? Why is she always so fat? 

For while Bryony does have a life many would envy, she is also engaged in a daily battle with mental illness. Fighting with OCD, bulimia and depression, like millions of others in this country, sometimes she finds it a struggle just to get out of bed. Here, in MAD GIRL, she tackles all of these subjects with her trademark humour, warmth and eye watering honesty.

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