Our ReviewsReally Good Actually by Monica Heisey

Really Good Actually by Monica Heisey

WHEN YOU WANT TO THROW A BOOK ACROSS THE ROOM BUT YOU CARRY ON READING

The reviews widely diverge for Really Good Actually. I have seen people laud the author as a genius, beg her to be their friend, declare this the millennial Bridget Jones. Others found it tedious, meandering – a weak follow up to Fleabag.

A debut from Schitts Creek writer Monica Heisey, it reached number 2 on the bestseller list when published in January, with fans packing out author events.

We usually don’t post about books we don’t like but I had to write about this one because there will be a huge range of readers that would love this & I get it’s appeal.

Maggie’s life is spiralling out of control. At 29 she is getting divorced, pursuing an obscure PhD, she can’t afford rent & her mind is constantly racing. One reader commented that this felt like someone’s intrusive thoughts & online searches gone rogue, regurgitated on the page which perfectly summed it up. Maggie chases happiness through new dalliances, hobbies, food, alcohol & oversharing to her long suffering friends.

I wanted to physically reach through the pages & shake Maggie. I HATED HER. But she also made me laugh uproariously at times, the chapter called Emotionally Devastating Things My Therapist Said to Me Like They Were Nothing was comedy gold, & actually Heisey created a character that felt jarringly real. Maybe that was the point all along, as she questions everything & complains incessantly – so many people found this relatable. 

Perhaps I don’t because I haven’t gone through this kind of life changing break up, but if felt very repetitive. Who would want her in their lives? But then isn’t that what friends are for, to help us through the chasms of sadness & self-destruction?

I’m so conflicted with this one. By the end I was literally shouting at the book but I’m still thinking about it & there will be many who find it incredibly comforting. It’s almost a light version of Sorrow & Bliss, with a less propulsive plot. Perhaps tipsy on a beach or by a pool this would have worked better for me (most books can be elevated in such an environment surely). 

Have you read this? Talk to me – C

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