So Much for That

Lionel Shriver

So, I think Lionel Shriver is a great writer if you can stomach her subject matter. I really liked We Need to Talk About Kevin, her novel about the mother of a student who killed several of his high school classmates. So Much For That chronicles the emotional and financial difficulties faced by two families as they deal with different health crises. I don't know if I would call the characters completely realistic, but they are likable and relatable. I didn't so much like the contemporary cultural and political references, but I tend to not like having someone else's social or political agenda so obviously hurled at me. However, those mostly occur at the beginning of the novel, before the shit hits the fan. The book addresses insurance, emotional, and work-related difficulties faced during chronic conditions, end of life care, and "non-essential" procedures without being solely about those issues. Shriver even manages to put in an uplifting ending. In the end, this book is really about people. She has a great sense of humor, which is what enables her to tackle such heavy subject matter without depressing readers. I think this book is definitely worth a look.


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