Book review: All’s Well by Mona Awad

Synopsis

Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating, chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised, and cost, her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.

That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible, doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.

With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged…genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is the story of a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.

Review

Wow, what a book! This one takes you on a whirlwind experience. It’s strange, exhausting, complex, unique and incredibly memorable! I listened to this as an audiobook and I was intoxicated, I rarely binge audio’s but I spent a weekend entirely hooked to this.

I don’t really want to go into the plot in too much detail as I think I benefitted from not having many preconceived notions about it. All you really need to know is that this is a horror-comedy about the refusal to believe in female pain with a Faustian bargain thrown in and some Shakespeare to boot!

Not knowing a whole lot about Shakespeare I was hesitant as to whether I would really understand this, but I found the connections to be obvious enough as to allow readers like myself to grasp the themes and ideas.

I really don’t have much more to say other than… read it! A truly hypnotising read with that fever dreamy feel I love so much in books. It’s safe to say that I will be eagerly anticipating whatever Mona Awad has in store for us next!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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