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Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
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Sorrow and Bliss

A Novel

$29.39

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Narrator Emilia Fox

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Length 10 hours 38 minutes
Language English
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Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction!

""Brilliantly faceted and extremely funny. . . . While I was reading it, I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realized that I wanted to send it to everyone I know."" — Ann Patchett

The internationally bestselling sensation, a compulsively readable novel—spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark, and tender—that Emma Straub has named one of her favorite books of the year

Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-à-terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrick—the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happy—has just moved out.

Because there’s something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn’t know what’s wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks. 

And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of London—to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her. 

But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herself—and she’ll find out that she’s not quite finished after all.

Meg Mason is a journalist whose career began at the Financial Times and the Times of London. Her work has since appeared in Vogue, Elle, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sunday Times (UK), and the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts. Born in New Zealand, she now lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two daughters. 

Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

Get started
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more