Thursday, 31 March 2011

32/111 – The Devil Within by Stephanie Merritt

I’m afraid I only made it through half of this book before losing interest. It’s another memoir of depression, which I bought pretty recently, but it didn’t suit me at all.

Stephanie Merritt is a novelist and journalist, and she talks about her experiences with manic depression – episodes which have plagued her throughout her life, and a depression which became unmanageable after the birth of her son.

The reason I didn’t get on with it is because it was quite spiritual. Merritt was raised as a Christian, and there is a lot about this in the book and how she feels that it relates to her illness. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this, but it just doesn’t interest me. I’m not a religious person in the slightest, and whilst I don’t particularly care what beliefs people choose to hold, I have no desire to read about them, either.

In addition, one of my chief reasons for buying a memoir on depression is to gain a new insight into the condition, and perhaps the way I could relate her experiences to my own, but I felt that the constant references to her Christian upbringing prevented me from doing that. Maybe that’s a little odd to say, since if it was a work of fiction, I might have continued reading without a second thought. There’s nothing wrong with the writing itself, but the religious angle bored me, to be frank.

Next time: Northline by Willy Vlautin

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