The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

When I discovered this Classic & why I chose to read it

I won tickets to see Janice Galloway speak at the Saltire Society, (sadly childcare issues prevented me from going) and I realised I hadn’t actually read any of her books. This one came highly recommended.

What makes it a Classic

It’s a beautifully written book, and deals with a still-relevant topic.

What I thought of this Classic

I found this an utterly compelling read. Told from the perspective of 27-year old Joy Stone, grieving the deaths of her mother, and her lover, the novel charts her worsening mental health, and ongoing treatment. It is sometimes uncomfortable to read, but always compassionate, and brutally honest about how it can feel to interact with medical practioners while in the grip of a mental illness. I expected an unhappy ending, but the final note was hopeful.

Will it stay a Classic

I think so. Although set at the end of the 80s, there’s a timelessness about the characters and their interactions which makes this feel very contemporary.

Who would you recommend this to

I think I would recommend this to most people. Though in some ways  it’s a bleak story (and I think a depiction of mental health probably needs to be that), it’s compassionate, and funny, and ends positively.