WellRead’s September 2020 selection was Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. Despite being a novel about the demise of a marriage and chronic mental illness, it is a charming and hilarious read filled with compassion, wit and a gigantic dose of humanity.
Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story.
Reading questions for Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason:
- Did you cry? Did you laugh? Did you love it as much as we did?
The book asks when is it too late to solve the mystery of your existence? And if not knowing has made you who you are, what will be left after the finding out? Discuss!
Patrick says: “everything is broken, and fucked up, and completely fine. That is what life is. It’s only the ratios that change. Usually on their own. As soon as you think that’s it, it’s going to be like this forever, they change again.” Do you agree with his sentiment?
The book almost reads as a catalogue of Martha’s shortcomings but what are Patrick’s and what role did they play in the demise of their marriage?
What do you make of Celia’s suggestion that “a marriage is its own world”?
Why do you think the author decided to omit the diagnosis that Martha finally receives? How did it alter your experience as a reader?
- Would you describe the novel as having a ‘happy ending’? In either case, were you fulfilled by the way it ended?
Please note, these questions were written and distributed in September, 2020.