I'm Sorry You Feel That Way
'If you liked Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss, you'll love this novel' - Good Housekeeping
by Rebecca Wait
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Pub Date 07 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 11 Jul 2022
Quercus Books, riverrun
'IT'LL EASILY BE ONE OF MY BOOKS OF THE YEAR' Hannah Beckerman
'It's a warm book and a touching one. And did I mention it's funny? Just read it. You'll see' The Times
'Funny, tender and sad' Sunday Express
'If you liked Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss, you'll love this novel' Good Housekeeping
'One of the richest explorations of family dysfunction I've read' the i newspaper
'Shades of Fleabag in this smart, funny drama' Mail on Sunday
'An enjoyably bittersweet novel about a dysfunctional modern family' Independent
'Razor-sharp ' Observer
'One of the funniest novels you'll read this year' Guardian
THE BOOK THAT YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN
For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial. There is their mother, who takes a divide-and-conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is also their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with.
There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything . . .
As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they'd intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down. And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.
From the author of the Waterstones Book of the Month Our Fathers comes a compelling domestic comedy about complex family dynamics, mental health and the intricacies of sibling relationships.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
5* 'I adored this book'
5* 'A brilliant novel about a dysfunctional family'
5* 'This book blew me away'
5* 'Loved, loved, loved this! Laugh-out-loud funny and beautifully poignant'
5* 'The best book i've read this year'
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 120 members
I absolutely adored this book.
I'm Sorry You Feel That Way by Rebecca Wait is a highly-engrossing novel about the all-encompassing power of family relations and friendships. The author chose to tell the stories of their lives by focusing on all family members (mother, two daughters, Alice and Hannah, and son Michael) and giving each of them a distinctive voice and extensive background. I really enjoyed this, because it gave me the chance to get to know them better and figure out why they were acting a certain way, but it also made it very clear that the way you think about the characters is because of the way they are perceived by others (as it is in the real world).
An added layer to this book is the role that mental health plays in shaping these characters.
It reminded me of other great books about family and friendship groups, like The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer or The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. I think I will remember this book for a long time.
Thank you to NetGalley and Quercus for allowing me to read this in advance. I will recommend this to everyone I know.
This is one of those novels that is entirely driven by character. The plot is the family and where they are and how they got there. We begin at a funeral, a darkly comedic affair that immediately sets the tone of the novel. I loved it and was instantly hooked. From there, we move back and forth, and between the perspectives of each family member, each chapter forming a crucial piece within the story of this dysfunctional family. I adored the alternating perspectives, the author cleverly showing us how one person’s truth can be wildly coloured by another’s own experiences and interpretations.
I veered throughout between liking and loathing each character for varied reasons, but overall, I came to understand them all, and consequently, form an attachment to them all. I particularly loved Alice and Hanna, their relationship as twins not your regular sort, in fact, almost with a divide between them that seemed exacerbated by being twins rather than enhanced by it. The mother force within this novel was quite tangible and toxic, and I appreciated so much how the author showed the way in which a lack of nurturing can have inter-generational consequences. There was much to ponder on whilst reading this one.
Essentially, the novel orbits around mental illness within families and there’s a precision to the way in which the author weaves this into the very fabric of each family member’s psyche. It’s a story about impact and reverberation, misplaced intentions, and the many things we repress, hide, and refuse to see until they implode. Fresh and unique, I highly recommend this one.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
This will be the caption on my Instagram post for “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”. The primary image for this post will be of the book itself, taken from the Quercus books Instagram page. It will be published no sooner than 01/07/2022 unless suggested otherwise. (A week before publication on the 08/07/2022).
“Alice and Hanna are twins trying to navigate the complexities of their lives. Alice, always wrapped up in playing peace-keeper to her family, has always wanted to feel stronger kinship with her sister. Hanna, always trying to assert herself and her independence rarely admits she has a sister, yet alone a twin. The two sisters choose completely different coping mechanisms to untangle themselves from their own childhoods and from the inherited trauma of their parent’s past.
A nuanced exploration of the effects that inherited trauma patterns, toxic behaviour and the complexities of mental health have on family life, broken up with moments so funny I cried with laughter. It is a rare read that can be both heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure. It captures beautifully the layered nature of family bonds while never holding its punches, from the lies and the rows families to the shared in jokes and small acts of kindness.
4/5 for me and I highly recommend reading it, for the ferret alone it’s worth it.
My thanks to @netgalley @riverrunbooks and @QuercusBooks for the E-Arc, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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“I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”
By Rebecca Wait
Read it if:
- You like the chaos of family captured well including the darker underside of families that we should all talk about more.
- You like books that focus on multiple generations and how the past still effects the present.
- You appreciate books that balance heavy and light material perfectly, keeping the reader from every feeling bogged down.
- You want to laugh until you cry at least once; from a drop-kicked sausage roll to a rogue ferret this book has it all.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
David Michael Slater
Larisa Grollemond; Bryan C. Keene
R. J. Corgan