4 out of 4 stars
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Distorted Days is a fiction book by Louise Worthington. It centres around the unexpected blows that life can send our way and finding the strength, courage, and support to keep going.
John walks out on Doris and their marriage without warning and offers no explanation. What is worse is that he leaves her for Lisa, Doris' best friend. The betrayal shatters Doris and leads to her miscarriage. She shrinks within herself, within the walls of her marital home, and escapes within the pages of her beloved fictional books. She dares not step out into the world. The solace she finds within her home is put to an abrupt stop when John sends an estate agent to sell the house, which belongs solely to him due to a prenuptial agreement. She must gather the courage to pick up the pieces of her life and move forward.
What I loved most about Distorted Days is its multifaceted characters. The characters are very human, flawed, and in some moments experience irrational thoughts and emotions. For instance, Doris experiences recurring daydreams about revenge. This desire for revenge seems out of character for selfless Doris. And yet, considering the circumstances, it fits perfectly and creates a more credible, realistic Doris. The author uses poetic language to present these recurring daydreams, altering minute details each time according to Doris' state of mind and emotional progress. The way the recurring daydreams were integrated into the story was effortless and natural. I feel that the author has taken the same amount of care and effort with the other characters, giving them a rich depth.
The divorce pushes Doris into a deep depression. I really appreciate how the author approached the issue of depression. Doris' doctor tells her that events themselves are not the cause of mental ill-health. Rather, the way we interpret those events makes the difference. And that is something I plan on remembering and using in my own life going forward.
My only complaint is that I was left with so many unanswered questions after the reason behind John's sudden departure was revealed. I realise though, that in leaving her readers with unanswered questions, the author was able to create a story that felt true-to-life. We don't always understand the reasons behind people's actions and behaviours.
Distorted Days is written in prose, and the author uses poetic devices to grip her readers. It is impeccably edited, and I thoroughly enjoyed its storyline, especially as its ending is far from being clichéd. Despite containing heavy themes like depression, it had moments that made me laugh. Therefore, I see it fit to give it a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to women who enjoy literary fiction.
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