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Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey review – a comic take on newly single life

A sardonic story of divorce, depression and the road to recovery by the Schitt’s Creek screenwriter Of the 43 most stressful events that an average adult might contend with in their lifetime, “divorce” and “marital separation” rank at Nos 2 and 3 respectively, grimly sandwiched between “spousal death” and “imprisonment”. (“Vacations” and “frequency of family reunions” make the list too – useful to remember in the wake of the holiday season.) It’s a nugget of popular psychology with which Maggie, the heroine of Monica Heisey’s debut novel, Really Good, Actually, would be familiar. Maggie’s story is one of divorce, depression and the road to recovery. She is 29 years old, a PhD student living in Toronto and married – at the start of the book, at least – to her long-term partner, the stable and solvent Jon. When he moves out, taking the cat with him, well-meaning friends and colleagues rally round, suggesting online dating, therapy and new hobbies. A surprising number mention kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken things. Maggie compiles a list of them all with a mocking faux-exhaustion. Continue reading...

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