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The State Of Me: Book Review

Friday 1 March 2019


From Goodreads:


The State of Me

The State of Me

by Nasim Marie Jafry

Paperback, 512 pages
Published: July 1st 2008 by The Friday Project
Original Title: The State of Me
ISBN: 1906321051 (ISBN13: 9781906321055)
Edition Language: English
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Review by Nancy
February 17, 2019
© 2019 Goodreads, Inc.

Nancy rated it five stars (out of five)

While I was reading this novel it gripped me completely – to the extent of telling friends what the characters were up to.

The protagonist, Helen, begins to feel the symptoms of a 'mystery illness' on a university gap year, which comes to profoundly affect her life over the next decade.

The State of Me is based on Jafry's own experiences of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) during an era when groundbreaking research was being conducted and the medical profession was developing (all too slowly, in some cases) an understanding of the condition.

On one level, the novel charts a personal journey; on another, a chapter in the history of medicine.

Jafry writes accessibly and engagingly for readers, like me, with no prior knowledge of ME; I gained a good understanding of the condition, and the range of ways it can affect people.

This all sounds very serious - but illness is only one theme in a rich and ambitious novel.

The State of Me is bursting with formal inventiveness and verbal panache, and the warmth and wit of the narrator's voice lingered in my mind long after I finished reading.


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