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FJ Book Club: A debut that is painfully relatable yet warmly uplifting

WORDS BY GEORGIE KIBEL

This week we’re reading The Morbids.

Once a fortnight, a group of FJ readers gather to overcome the loneliness that is lockdown by eagerly discussing a new book. It’s open to anyone, you simply need to register below and we’ll email you details of that week’s Zoom meet.

For the next meet, our editors have chosen Australian author Ewa Ramsey’s debut novel The Morbids as their pick, which will no doubt give us plenty of points of discussion regarding the tumultuous nature of adult friendships and poor coping mechanisms.

The story follows 28-year-old Caitlin, who is convinced she’s going to die. Following a car accident two years earlier, she is left with the harrowing feeling that she is only alive by mistake. The title of the book references the support group she attends for people with death-related anxiety, informally known as The Morbids.

While we don’t discourage a glass of wine during the Zoom, The Morbids may illuminate why many of us turn to a drop during times of need, as protagonist Caitlin self-medicates her crippling anxiety with alcohol. Caitlin also throws herself into her work, which is a habit we might relate to all too well.

For all of the lovers of romance in the building, the book takes a turn when her best friend announces she is to be married and a gorgeous doctor (think Patrick Dempsey) is introduced as the love interest. Caitlin must learn how to live again.

The book grapples with the universal feeling of hidden loneliness, but also the beauty of compassion and companionship.

A beautiful, relatable take on mental illness and the second ‘coming of age’ experience that occurs during your twenties, The Morbids is perfect for those enjoy bittersweet stories.

To join the next FJ Book Club meet, fill out your details below and find yourself a copy of The Morbids here. We’ve scheduled a Zoom session for Thursday October 8 at 6.30pm AEST, where we can discuss the debut novel in full.

FJ Book Club will continue every fortnight, with new title announcements dropping every other Monday. Keep an eye on our upcoming meets here.

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