THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 PICK
A new Sunday Times bestseller from Bryony Gordon, Telegraph columnist and author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers. For readers who enjoyed Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive and Ruby Wax’s Sane New World, Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.
‘I loved it. A brilliant fast and funny and frank look at something that absolutely needs to be talked about in this way’ Matt Haig
Bryony Gordon has OCD.
It’s the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn’t repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It’s caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.
A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it’s time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.
Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.
What does TWG think?
As I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, if I review a book that is based on real life or personal experiences, my review style changes dramatically. After all, I can’t exactly start saying that the book has an ‘uneventful storyline’ if it’s about the author’s life, it’s not like they’re going to tweet me back and say ‘OH SOZ that my life wasn’t exciting enough for YOU’. I mean, REALLY?!
I bought ‘Mad Girl’ from my local Tesco as I had just popped in for a few necessities (some might say milk, some might say books), and I was at the point in my life where I was an absolute mess with constant bad news related to my health. I needed some help and clarification without being judged, that’s where ‘Mad Girl’ came in.
Bryony Gordon has really had her fair share of shitake; OCD, drugs, depression…you name it, she has probably been through it. ‘Mad Girl’ seemed to be Bryony’s chosen platform to open up about issues that are often seen as ‘taboo’, misunderstood and are frequently hidden away (not through choice). In her novel, Bryony explains just how she felt when she was faced with a trigger or a judgemental person, absolutely perfectly and I am in awe of how black and white that she vocalises those emotions.
‘Mad Girl’ struck a chord with me as I have had to battle similar things as Bryony, just like a lot of people no doubt. But, on a personal level, the novel made me return to a time in my past and face it. Let’s just say that I now consider Bryony Gordon to be my new therapist! Bloody cheap therapy though!
Bryony’s writing is incredibly honest, real and exactly what everyone needs to hear. She says it how it is. She doesn’t feel the need to apologise for her thoughts and feelings or troublesome moments, even though a lot of us feel like we have to apologise to others for being unwell. What I loved the most about this novel was how the author challenged that notion and made me feel as though she was rooting for every single person with a mental illness, whether she knew them or not. It was like she turned into a little angel to sit on our shoulders, spraffing profanities to the judgemental bar-stewards that crossed our paths, or the nasty individuals who tried to make it their mission to make us feel smaller than what we already are.
I am in awe at Bryony Gordon’s story, and the amount of hurdles that she has had to jump over so far in her life time. Not only that, she has brought those extremely difficult moments to light, for thousands of people to read and relate to. The amount of strength that that must have taken to do…
Just like many (if not all) of us, there are sure to have been moments when we have felt worthless, unloved and misunderstood; I know that I have, and thanks to depression, anxiety and five other chronic illnesses, it is a regular occurrence.
Bryony Gordon and ‘Mad Girl’ made me feel as though I had someone rooting for me and wanting me to succeed. That probably sounds stupid seeing as she has never spoken to me personally, yet her written words spoke to me in a way that I will never forget.
The world needs a lot more people like Bryony Gordon, and your bookshelf needs a copy of ‘Mad Girl’ on it. Such an honest, eye-opening and inspirational story of one woman’s journey of self discovery and celebration. Full of hilarious moments and on point truths, ‘Mad Girl’ sticks two fingers up to the word ‘taboo’, whilst also being your best friend in a book.
Bryony Gordon, you are an inspirational, hilarious bad ass. If Marvel don’t make you into a super hero then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong!!