Top critical review
Depression: The Novel
January 1, 2018
Don't expect a happy ending. Don't expect any kind of happiness at all from this book. It is crushingly, oppressively sad and infuriating in equal parts.
Beautifully written, to be sure. Cheryl Reid's minimalist style lulls you into a false sense of security, just so it can grab you at the most opportune time and take your breath away. I take no issue with her abilities, except that the narrative is aggressively bleak. As such, I can't say that I enjoyed the work itself. Essentially everyone is awful, and I feel the author tries to make us feel that way about the protagonist too, a victim of abuse who clearly does her best but is constantly thwarted from every accomplishing anything by her parents, her in-laws, her husband, her sibling, her neighbors, her community, her priest, and even her own children.
As a result, there wasn't much I felt I could take away from this besides, "The world is awful, and then you die." Which I already knew.
Maybe other readers will find joy in this. I hope they do. But I, unfortunately, could not.