Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: The Trick Is To Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing: A Novel Joy Stone, a 27-year-old drama teacher, has come undone. Suffering from a deep depression, the problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture her, and she attributes her difficulties not to troubles at work, or to the accidental death of her illicit lover, but to herself. While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy, as Joy is forced to learn that the trick to survival is to find those things that let life go on. The wit and irony found in moments of despair prove to be Joy's salvation and add a completely original note to women's writing. -synopsis from Goodreads

I picked up The Trick Is To Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway, first because I was a huge Garbage fan in high school so the title stood out to me, and second because the subject matter intrigued me. 

Wow, this book might linger with me for quite a while. It's told in a stream of consciousness, diary type style which was very difficult to follow. Much like The Bell Jar, this woman's head is NOT a fun place to be. The main character, ironically named Joy, is trying to cope with the recent death of her boyfriend while they were on vacation. Her thoughts are disjointed and all over the place. There are random and often nonsensical comments written in the margins as well as flashbacks told in small bits and pieces. It's a mess but it works because Joy is an absolute mess. I thought I had dealt with depression before, turns out, my head is practically a Disney movie by comparison.

If you want an in depth, front row look into one woman's free-fall into depression, eating disorders, alcoholism, and what was sure to be an eventual suicide had the book gone any longer, than you'll want to pick this up. If you are looking for a fun lighthearted read or just have enough of your own depression to deal with, this may not be the book for you. As for me, I'm off to eat some chocolate in hopes of cheering up a bit. 


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I'll keep this in mind for a time when I'm ready for a deep moody read. Thanks for sharing!

the demureconnoisseur said...

I thought that Katniss was a pretty believable and human character. Her reaction to the Quarter Quell was so real. I loved those books.

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