By Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella, of the Shopaholic series fame, brings us this account of Audrey, a teen suffering from anxiety as the result of some sort of traumatic event (we don’t know what) that has sent her into darkness and despair. She is unable to leave her house, or go to school, or talk to anyone, or to remove her dark sunglasses.
The story is told from inside Audrey’s head, so we have a first hand account of where she is at in her recovery and demonstrates Audrey’s lack of awareness of the effect of her illness on the other members of her family. It takes some time for Audrey to realize how wrapped up in herself she has been, not being aware of anything outside of herself and her feelings.
Audrey’s family is a bit quirky, Mum reads the Daily Mail and allows the crazy stories in there to influence her parenting, Dad tries to support Mum, sometimes having trouble keeping up, brother Frank is a frustrated teen (see Mum’s attempts at parenting), and Audrey’s anxiety keeps her hidden from the world.
Audrey sees Dr. Sarah, who helps Audrey make progress in her recovery by trying to get her to take some steps outside of her comfort zone. One day her comfort zone is invaded by Linus, a friend of Frank, who actually seems to understand Audrey and is able to support her steps to recovery.
This book is an honest look at Audrey’s anxiety and the difficulty she faces as she tries to emerge from the darkness, written with humour and respect.