Books: Finding Audrey

The gist of Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey is that a traumatic event happened to the main character, Audrey, shortly before the story takes place. When we meet Audrey she doesn't leave home apart from doctor's appointments. She wears dark sunglasses at all times, finding it hard to look people in the eye. It's not until she meets Linus, a friend of her brother, that she finds someone she can talk about her fears to.

Rating: 3/5

*Potential spoilers ahead* 

Kinsella conveyed Audrey's emotions quite well in the early parts of the book. The frustration at not getting better quickly, the exhaustion of always being on edge, and how hard seemingly simple interactions can be. By having Audrey refer to her anxiety as the lizard part of the brain, she accurately portrayed how out of control it feels.

In the beginning we are shown Audrey's family and given a good sense of their relationships through Audrey's narrative. Her mother comes across as a bit neurotic, but the impression is that they are all on relatively good terms. She also hints at a specific event at school, which lead to her current condition. Although there are multiple implications that bullying was involved, it's unclear what exactly happened.

It would have been great if the complexity of the first half could have carried through to the end.

Linus as a character is likable enough. However, Linus seems be the cure to anxiety. Her recovery after she meets him seems quite easy, and felt too dependent on him. The second half of this book is like a fairytale that, apart from one nasty bump, sails smoothly into happily ever after. Even the mum decides to chill.

TL:R: Life is complicated, anxiety is complicated, but the second half of this book is simplistic. There was so much potential in this one, but it fell flat.


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