This week we look at a fiction book that covers some real world scenarios in such a realistic manner that it could almost be said to be a self help book. This week, we look at I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan.
Honestly, this book was one of those that struck so very many chords once it really got going. While setting things up the book was somewhat focused on the couple’s kids, which was throwing this childfree reader a bit – just isn’t something I personally relate to, and thus a bit harder for my mind to get into that kind of story.
But then the book got into the meat of its story. I don’t think I ever even read the blurb for this book, the title alone was intriguing enough to get me to read it, so I don’t want to discuss too much here that could give away key plot points, but let’s go in with some things that really hit home for me: Like one character in this book, I am obviously a blogger. What is less obvious on this site is that I’ve been doing it for a decade now across a few different topics, and while I don’t have near the reach the blogger in this tale did, the fact that we have that similarity alone was enough to begin to draw me in. Then the dynamics between the husband and wife here. I’ve seen myself on both sides of the discussions raised throughout the remainder of the book after a certain key event, and to say this dynamic hit home is a bit of an understatement.
Ultimately, Pagan here has written a tale that will be readily identifiable to many and has done so in an extremely realistic manner. This is one of those books that can at times be uncomfortable in its uncanny reality, yet by the end gives a supreme catharsis. Sometimes, those are the best books around. This one certainly feels like one of those.
This was yet again a new-to-me Lake Union author, and I’ll be looking forward to Pagan’s other work. Very highly recommended.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Title Says It All. A lot of times when I write these reviews, the book didn’t really hit home or I’ve given myself some time to process before writing or a singular theme arose from my read of the book or some other thing that kind of “ties the review together”. None of that really applies here. This book hit hard on many levels, and I’m writing this review within just a couple of minutes of finishing it.
Ultimately, the title really does say it all. I’m fine – and neither are you. We’re all messy, none of us are perfect. But most all of us are trying to do the right thing as best we can, even when life tries to keep us down. Sometimes we handle things amazingly, sometimes we run away and have a meltdown over something that should have been simple. It happens.
This is a fictional tale with a lot of real life issues thrown into the story and handled in a very realistic manner, to the level that the book comes dang close to veering into self help categories. This was my first book from Pagan, and it won’t be my last.