Book Review: I’m Sorry You Feel that Way by Rebecca Wait

About the Book:

Immensely readable and gorgeously comic, this is Rebecca’s finest novel yet.

For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial. There is their mother, who takes a divide and conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with. There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything.

As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they’d intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down. And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.

Published by Hachette Australia – Riverrun

Released 8th July 2022

My Thoughts:

This is one of those novels that is entirely driven by character. The plot is the family and where they are and how they got there. We begin at a funeral, a darkly comedic affair that immediately sets the tone of the novel. I loved it and was instantly hooked. From there, we move back and forth, and between the perspectives of each family member, each chapter forming a crucial piece within the story of this dysfunctional family. I adored the alternating perspectives, the author cleverly showing us how one person’s truth can be wildly coloured by another’s own experiences and interpretations.

I veered throughout between liking and loathing each character for varied reasons, but overall, I came to understand them all, and consequently, form an attachment to them all. I particularly loved Alice and Hanna, their relationship as twins not your regular sort, in fact, almost with a divide between them that seemed exacerbated by being twins rather than enhanced by it. The mother force within this novel was quite tangible and toxic, and I appreciated so much how the author showed the way in which a lack of nurturing can have inter-generational consequences. There was much to ponder on whilst reading this one.

Essentially, the novel orbits around mental illness within families and there’s a precision to the way in which the author weaves this into the very fabric of each family member’s psyche. It’s a story about impact and reverberation, misplaced intentions, and the many things we repress, hide, and refuse to see until they implode. Fresh and unique, I highly recommend this one.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: I’m Sorry You Feel that Way by Rebecca Wait

  1. I’ve been curious about this one, mostly because the cover keeps popping up on Instagram and it’s a perfect example of one of my favourite book cover trends: fed up women! 😂 Happy to hear it has your seal of approval!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Top 15 Books of my 2022 Reading Year | Theresa Smith Writes

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