Book Review: Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon*

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* I was fortunate to receive a copy of Mad Girl for review from Headline upon my own request. *

Lord almighty, this book. 

Bryony Gordon has OCD. She's been diagnosed with it since she was twelve. 

At this moment I will hark back to what I said in my review of Rose Bretécher's Pure and reiterate: I do not know what it is like to have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not pretend to understand OCD. I will do everything in my power to try and talk about OCD, but the words I use will not be perfect and I will not always explain things in the best way, and for that I apologise. For the real details and a proper perspective, I would recommend you read one (or both, really) of these books. Get it straight from the source.

Bryony writes to us about her life with OCD, from her early years up until the present. She talks about her depression, the medication she was put on, her alopecia at a young age, her eating disorders, drug addictions and binging, unhealthy relationships, and eventually meeting her future husband and having her daughter. A lot happens to Bryony in this book, and I think she's absolutely bloody amazing for putting it all down on paper. My knowledge of OCD has grown dramatically. I forget how much of the disorder takes place in your mind rather than through the physical actions people always associate with OCD (AKA when people like to be organised then call themselves OCD...ach). Reading through Bryony's thought processes is difficult at times, so I cannot even begin to imagine what life is like during those difficult times. She fears she's killed her family without remembering. She worries she's done terrible things to children and then forgotten. She cannot travel on a plane without using a suitcase that has already 'survived' a plane journey.

This book is incredibly engaging, and Bryony's writing style kept me reading avidly. It's darkly funny, endlessly informative, and I am now calling it required reading for anyone who wants to learn more about mental illness. Just look at all of those five-star Goodreads reviews. This book is something special.

(Also I sobbed like an actual child when her (now) husband proposed to her. I mean, I knew it was going to happen, he's her husband now but still. I cried at work because I was so happy for her.)

Mad Girl was published in hardcover by Headline back in June, and is now available in paperback!.The last time I was in WH Smith it was #1 in the chart! Success!

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