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Friday, 12 November 2010

Review: The State of Me

Helen Fleet is just an ordinary student until one day she is struck down my a mysterious illness.  And illness that doesn't go away or get better. 

In this brilliant novel by Nasim Marie Jafry, Helen tells her story of learning to cope and live with M.E./C.F.S.  While the topic is generally depressing, Nasim manages to give humour throughout the book simply via Helen's voice and view of life.  I particularly loved the conversations between Helen and Stranger.

stranger: What did you do today?

 me: I had a shower and made a cup of tea.

stranger: Is that all?

me: I tried to wash my hair but my arms were too weak to lather.

As someone who lives with this illness I found strength in the knowledge that it isn't all in my head (surely it can't be if someone else has written about it).  And there were so many thoughts and feelings described that I could completely relate to.  I understood Helen's frustration and rejoiced in her triumphs.  I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the day to day life of someone with M.E.  While it is a fictional account, the author has M.E. herself and so certainly knows what she is talking about and this came through in this story.

stranger: You don't look ill.

me: That's good, isn't it?

stranger: You seem to have a lot of energy.

me: That's 'coz we're sitting down just talking.

Nasim Marie Jafry blogs about writing and about Velo-Gubbed Legs

1 comment:

Kess said...

This sounds like such a great read Bethany! It sounds like it's both insightful and entertaining. It's definitely on my to-read list - thanks for the recommendation hun! x