So Lucky by Nicola Griffith

So Lucky

From the author of Hild, a fierce and urgent autobiographical novel about a woman facing down a formidable foe.So Lucky is the sharp, surprising new novel by Nicola Griffith—the profoundly personal and emphatically political story of a confident woman forced to confront an unnerving new reality when in the space of a single week her wife leaves her and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.Mara Tagarelli is, professionally, the head of a mul...

Details So Lucky

TitleSo Lucky
Release DateMay 15th, 2018
PublisherFSG Originals
GenreFiction, LGBT, Disability

Reviews So Lucky

  • Diane S ☔
    A novel that hits very close to where I am. A book that shows how life changing the diagnosis of a terrible disease can be, affecting all parts of a life. Mara, who works for a non profit, is dignosed withMS, after an unexplained fall. Her emotions and her life are in free fall. She is angry, bitter and not easy to be around. The treatments make her ill, and are often worse than the disease. She needs to find a new way forward. It will not be eas...
  • Edward Lorn
    I've been disabled since 2011. I don't talk about it often because there are artists who rely on their disabilities to sell their work. I don't want anybody's charity. I want people to buy my work because they want the work, not bragging rights because they want to support the crippled author. So instead of a bio that reads "Edward Lorn is a disabled author of blah blah blah..." I choose to let my work speak for itself. It's not something that ne...
  • Lex Kent
    3.75 Stars. I think Griffith is a pretty brilliant writer so when I see a new book by her I will absolutely read it. This was a tough read. It was even harder to read than I expected it to be. It is an unfiltered look into what a horrible disease MS is. I have to admit I didn’t know much about multiple sclerosis. It wasn’t until about two years ago I read a book that had a main character with MS. Since then I have read two other books that ha...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This book reads so much like a memoir I had to keep reminding myself it isn't. The murder plots and shadow creatures are not real. But everything else probably is, and based on the author's experience. Mara is working as the Executive Director for an HIV non-profit, very successful, and has just parted ways with her wife of 14 years, when she has a fall. It is revealed to be Multiple Sclerosis. The writing is punchy and I found myself reading it ...
  • Sarah
    Nicola Griffith is one of my favorite authors, one of the authors I'll follow into any genre or subgenre because I know I'm in good hands. This book is no exception. It's short but breathless, propulsive, structured in short sections that convince you not to put it down. This was supposed to be a writing day, but I kept sneaking one more page, two more pages, ah, why not just keep going? Griffith has written a visceral, urgent, taut narrative of ...
  • Jan
    I started out actively engaged with the protagonist as she absorbs her diagnosis of MS, but her one-note response of rage and grievance wore me out, and a serial killer plot line that's introduced later in this short book lost me altogether. Griffith is a strong writer, and I appreciated the book's insights into the experience of living with MS, but I would have preferred the protagonist to have a more nuanced response and the subplot to have bee...
  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    This was not quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be a lot more speculative than it actually was. It's mostly a realist, visceral tale of a woman's first year after being diagnosed with MS, specifically focused as a kind of character study of Mara. I loved how full of anger she was--at having MS, at the casually ableist world she abruptly collides with, at violence against people with disabilities and/or women--and how Griffith obviou...
  • Agirlcandream
    A fictional novel clearly written by someone with an intimate knowledge of the vagaries of Multiple Sclerosis. The spectrum of emotions play out as Mara struggles to come to terms with the rapid progress of her disease. The author points out that sense of “other” someone in a wheelchair feels, how challenging the simplest of tasks become and how demoralizing and frustrating the lack of care and options are for those afflicted with MS. She is ...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    This was a very strange book with some surreal elements, some crime elements, and some moments of madness. The MC is hit with multiple major setbacks at practically the same time - her wife leaves her, she is diagnosed with MS, and loses her job. The MC is understandably very angry, and a lot of the book is devoted to how she channels that anger, not always in a good way. There are some strange supernatural elements to the story, but those may be...
  • - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)
    . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★arc provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux!!) this was super interesting!! it was a little crazy at times but i say that in the most tender and wholesome way you can think of. it really isn’t like anything i’ve read before!!So Lucky follows our main character Mara, who, in the span of a week, loses her wife, her relevance in the workplace, and her phy...
  • Rachel León
    If you ever thought that a short novel can’t pack a powerful punch, SO LUCKY will prove you wrong. This slim novel is a rich story about a woman’s battle with her body and her mind. Nicola Griffith’s prose is beautiful and strong and she deftly weaves such a compelling tale of a woman dealing with MS and an able-ist society that ignores the needs of those with disabilities. I couldn’t put the novel down—so so good.
  • David
    As others have said, this is a miscellany of genres with illness memoir, social justice narrative, psychological thriller, true crime, and even the occult all jostling under the umbrella of auto fiction. The writing is excellent; the results are mixed. There was a lot I appreciated and little I loved. The book suffers most from a telescoping of the timeline which (for me) cheapened the many messages being delivered.
  • Det. Nidhi
    This was the first book I've read by this author and I am hooked...I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I decided to give this book a try. It was mostly the main plot which caught my eye - 'Multiple Sclerosis'. Its a diseases of your immune system where your own cells attack your neurons leading to a myriad of symptoms. It can either be chronic or a remitting relapsing type, wherein the remitting one will appear randomly throughout your li...
  • ☙ percy ❧
    "It's aiming to kill you." i was so lucky (ha!) to get accepted for this on netgalley. this was an absolutely brilliant book and now i want to recommend it to everyone, although you should note that there's content warnings for violent burglary, murder, and hate crime; they're all reported rather than shown on-page but it's something to be aware first, it seemed like a pretty straightforward book with pretty straightforward themes. our main...
  • ns510
    “It’s a strange thing to feel a body you know change inside without moving, a kind of shrinking away, like the sides of a cooling cake.”.So I had no idea what I would be reading, having stayed away from the blurb, but the cover indicated ‘a sophisticated thriller’. I suppose you could extrapolate and say yes, it is kind of a psychological thriller in some ways, but it is mainly a story of a young and successful queer woman who loses a l...
  • Peter Tillman
    Nicola Griffith writes really well, and I was so pleased to see a short book on the hold shelf -- but this is an angry book. Not one to read straight through. Not a comfort read!She was diagnosed with MS further back than I realized, and I assume the pain, shame and general unpleasantness of learning one has an incurable, degenerative disease is accurately portrayed. It's bad. Even worse, she was very active, very physical before she got sick. He...
  • Doug
    Having worked in the disability community myself for a dozen years prior to retirement, this certainly rang true as an authentic story to me, and knowing the author drew upon her own experiences as a recently diagnosed person with MS proved her adherence to the PWD rallying cry of 'Nothing about us without us'. If it strayed a bit towards the clinical at times, and the thriller/murder mystery element didn't work quite as well, the story moves qui...
  • Collin
    Mara is a fighter. Beaten up in a bar by two men when she was twenty-two, Mara decided then and there to never be a victim again. Never feel weak and frail at the mercy of anybody or anything. She took up martial arts and forged herself into a strong, confident, successful woman. However, all of this strength and confidence cannot help her when she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Overnight her world is turned upside down. For me this book i...
  • Emily
    "I had no idea what lay in my future now." So Lucky is a unique story. I haven't read anything else in which the main character is dealing with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. This book is raw, and deals with many heavy emotions like uncertainty, rage, loneliness, etc. The main character feels what she feels, and doesn't let anyone else tell her what to do. I felt like her anger at her situation was realistic. Some elements of this book remind...
  • Melody
    Blisteringly good. I sat down with this and didn't move until it was finished. This book feels like it was written all in a passionate rush, and I read it the same way. It rang so true, shined light in some very dark corners of the abelist world, and made my heart sing, ultimately. Griffith continues to amaze and delight, no matter what she turns her hand to. Highly recommended.
  • Ruthiella
    So glad to have finally read Nicola Griffith! So Lucky is a short but intense account of a woman’s struggle to adjust to a new normal after being diagnose with Multiple Sclerosis. At under 200 pages, this was a very quick read. The protagonist, Mara, is often very bitter and aggressive and I liked how the book challenged the reader to empathize with her despite her bitterness. I also really enjoyed the more speculative aspects of the book. MS c...
  • Alison Hardtmann
    Mara has a great life. She's in a relationship and they live in a cute condo. Her job with a large AIDS non-profit gives her recognition and challenges and she's passionate about martial arts. Then, in a few days, it all collapses. Her partner leaves her for another woman and then she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable and disabling disease, which progresses rapidly, exhausting her, rendering her unable of continuing with...
  • Dianah
    This novel/auto-fiction didn't exactly pan out the way I'd hoped. It had a really weird secondary story, which I thought at first was so odd that it was going to be amazing, but it just wasn't. The whole book felt oddly superficial and depthless, which is the exact opposite of what I'd expected. Parts of it were really well done and it's a quick read, but overall, I wasn't thrilled. 😕
  • kari
    A nuanced, powerful story written in flowing prose, and while the ending was disappointingly abrupt and direct, the emotional arc of the novel was just amazing.
  • Judy
    This novel was one of the books I picked up at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor during my vacation in Michigan. I felt so lucky to find it there because it had just been published and my library didn't have it yet.It is the powerful story of a successful happy woman whose life turned on her in one week. Her wife of many years asks for a divorce and she is presented with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Mara, at the time, had thought she had been...
  • Bob Lopez
    Seemingly autobiographical novel about a woman who, upon her impending divorce, is diagnosed with MS. The book goes to great lengths to show us our protagonist is not some wilting flower--she is a powerful woman, at the head of a non-profit that advocates for those with AIDS. But especially when, after her diagnosis and a vulgar and inappropriate email--the result of which was her dismissal--she goes a a a calculated twitter rant, and starts a mo...
  • Melissa
    Last night I sat down to start this around six and finished it before nine. I could have done without the (view spoiler)[murder (hide spoiler)] plot because given the way the book ends, I'm not sure if it was meant to be a metaphor or what - if it all really happened, the denouement was a bit too pat, and the horrors Mara faces from the people around her as a result of MS are stomach-churning enough without needing to add (view spoiler)[murder (h...
  • Saya
    Spoilers ahead...I actually really enjoyed reading this book and felt invested in the characters and their stories. Plus, the writing was excellent.But then you know what happened? The sub-plot about the killers. Ugh. At first I thought it was well done and fed into the narrative about Mara being a bit paranoid about victimization and being extra sensitive to that due to the MS diagnosis. However, the ending had me rolling my eyes. The cops call,...
  • Lori
    Strange I didn’t love this since I do have MS. I think my reaction is partly due to the reality of MS to the fantastical - for instance the narrator progresses rapidly within weeks whereas that kind of progression takes years. I puzzled over the first drug choice, rebif really? Probably the last I would have chosen! Plus I never felt that invisibility, in fact people have proven themselves to be wonderful. And one other thing, everyone I know w...
  • Janet
    This is the second book I've read for the TOB that seems more autobiography than fiction. The first one was Cherry by Nico Walker....interesting that both authors are "in prison" though Griffith's is more the metaphorical prison of her disease.There is a lot of rage packed into this short novel and I found it to be well written and it drew my empathy. There is a lot of wisdom here about the challenges of being alone also. What do you do when ther...