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Death Stalks Kettle Street
John Bowen

An eye-opening confession.

Mad Girl - Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon is on a mission; she is determined to get mental health issues out into the open so they can be discussed and accepted. Having suffered with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) for many years, along with the other conditions it has caused, Bryony recognises that the default position is to brush such issues under the carpet where they breed and fester. She believes that bringing them out into the open will allow people to receive treatment before things go seriously downhill. Bryony Gordon is a popular columnist for Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper, which enables her to get her book recognised where a lesser name, with the same problems, might struggle.

 

She admits that even she ahs hidden her problems wherever possible. Developing OCD at the age of 12, she went on to suffer from Bulimia, Alopecia, Depression, Alcoholism and drug dependency - yet her first book, The Wrong Knickers, made no mention of these issues. Now in her thirties, married with a young daughter, she has written a revealing memoir that she hopes will help other sufferers to recognise and treat their conditions.

 

For me, there were some eye-openers, particularly that OCD could be quite so debilitating. Not just a matter of double checking that the house is locked, but repeating mantras to protect her family and even bringing the iron to work in her handbag to be sure it wasn't still on.

The episodes of heavy drinking were upsetting to read, but the way she fell so easily into drug dependency was frankly shocking. Now as a young mum she must be worried that her daughter doesn't go the same way.

 

The book is typically self depreciating, written in a very British style, with humour and honesty. I think this is its niche market. Our book group are not all British and it wasn't as well received as its Amazon star ratings might suggest. The author is coming to our Literary Festival in March and it will be interesting to see how she is received.