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I'm Sorry You Feel That Way


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About the Author

Rebecca is the author of four novels, the most recent of which, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way, was a Times, Guardian, Express, Good Housekeeping and BBC Culture Book of the Year. Her previous novel, Our Fathers, received widespread acclaim and was a Guardian book of the year and a thriller of the month for Waterstones.


SO brilliant. A brutally funny and whip-smart novel about dysfunctional families, with some of the best fictional sibling relationships I've ever read. It'll easily be one of my Books of the Year.
*Hannah Beckerman*

I didn't want it to end. Completely absorbing and brilliant and funny and painful.
*Charlotte Duckworth*

Toxic mothers, absent fathers, angry sisters and enraging brothers - this sharp, wise comedy explores difficult family dynamics, from all-too-relatable emotional patterns to the inexplicable agonies of mental illness; yet it's also one of the funniest novels you'll read this year.
*Guardian (50 Hottest New Summer Reads)*

Rebecca Wait's highly entertaining fourth novel is a masterclass in familial tensions, told with razor-sharp
dialogue, wit and emotional insight.

You'll struggle to find a better opening sentence in fiction this year . . . I loved the deadpan one-liners . . . The dialogue is excellent and captures the way families try to support one another and end up being accidentally horrible instead . . . But even better than the witty observations are the pure comedy set pieces . . . But it's more than just a farce. Things happen, big dramatic things, and there's love and anguish and good people making terrible mistakes . . . It's a warm book and a touching one. And did I mention it's funny? Just read it. You'll see.
*The Times*

One of those novels, which is as funny as it's devastating, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way lays bare one family's dysfunction over the decades.
*Red Magazine (The 10 best new books out this month)*

Wait's deft handling of the intricate web of family connections, as well as her genuinely funny observations of everyday life, land somewhere between the early novels of Maggie O'Farrell and the later work of Barbara Trapido. Like them, she understands that tragedy and comedy go hand in hand

Funny, tender and sad... Wait is such a sympathetic writer that her willingness to dive into the emotional nitty gritty of her characters' inner lives makes for riveting reading
*Sunday Express*

If you liked Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss, you'll love this novel ... as it hits that same sweet spot between poignancy and humour
*Good Housekeeping*

A deep dive into a dysfunctional family and its intergenerational trauma that somehow manages to be both desperately sad and extremely funny... Its exquisitely detailed examination of interpersonal relationships allows it to become furtively compassionate, generous even to the worst offenders and one of the richest explorations of family dysfunction I've read
*i newspaper*

An enjoyably bittersweet novel about a dysfunctional modern family

This sharp, wise comedy explores difficult family dynamics, from all-too-relatable emotional patterns to the inexplicable agonies of mental illness; yet it's also one of the funniest novels you'll read this year
*Guardian Summer Reading*

A rich and witty and sad book about family dysfunction. Twins Alice and Hanna are at the heart of it all, but we also glimpse into the life of their overbearing mother and her sister, and the whole thing is knitted together into a tragicomedy that I loved an inordinate amount
*The Well Read newsletter*

Wait is unflinching in her heartrending exploration of complex family dynamics, from the traumas that tear us apart to the brave decisions that hold us together.
*Woman's Own*

smart, witty and affecting... the comparisons to Sorrow and Bliss are justified

The novel has earned comparisons to Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss - aka everyone's favourite book of 2020 - so bona fide hit status surely follows
*ES Magazine*

From the passive aggressive title to the satisfying ending, this is a smart, sometimes hilarious novel in which blood might prove thicker than water.

Perceptive, compelling and dryly funny, this unmissable story of a dysfunctional family . . . is a masterful novel, Wait's piercing wit and laser-sharp insight showing how easily family dynamics can
spiral out of control.
*Daily Express*

A funny and moving book that will draw you into its tangled web

This novel made me laugh out loud and also broke my heart; it manages to weave together comedy, childhood trauma, mental illness and deft character observations into a wonderfully readable package. I hoovered it up and then went straight to read Rebecca Wait's previous novel, The Followers, which I also loved.

This is the funniest and one of the most underrated novels of the year... snarky and mischievous... it's gently serious and very touching
*The Times (Best Fiction of 2022)*

This family drama, about twin sisters whose dominant mother rules their lives, hits that sweet spot between poignancy and humour. All three characters are flawed and relatable in their own ways and the dynamic between them is so believable.
*Good Housekeeping (Best Books of 2022)*

A very funny, emotionally wise story of sibling rivalry and difficult mothers.
*Guardian (Best Fiction Books of 2022)*

Rebecca Wait's witty tragicomedy is a piercing tale of sibling rivalry and family dysfunction . . . Wait has a talent for bringing a crackle to a scene.
*Culture Whisper (Favourite Books of 2022)*

Perceptive, poignant and often very funny story of a dysfunctional family . . . a masterful novel that tackles
troubled family dynamics with sparkling wit and searing insight.
*Daily Express (Fiction Highlights for 2022)*

Had I read Rebecca Wait's I'm Sorry You Feel That Way (riverrun) in time for our books of the year feature, I would have included it . . . Wait is a wonderful farceuse and a natural at comic observation, but does dark as well: I'm Sorry You Feel That Way is about the pain of feeling you haven't found your place in the world, about clinging to people who might ease that pain, and about the further pain that comes when they back off. It's about mental illness, and includes a frighteningly vivid account of a crack-up. It's also warm and generous: this family is trapped, but not without hope of release.

This was one of the most underrated novels of last year. It's snarky and mischievous right from the opening sentence . . . It's the story of a dysfunctional middle-class family: stuffy Michael, the twins - anxious Alice and troublemaking Hanna - and their narcissistic mother, who can't stop meddling. By
the end it's surprisingly serious and very touching.
*The Times*

Laughing - actually laughing - aloud at a novel is a rare pleasure, so don't miss the chance. This was one of the funniest books of 2022
*Sunday Times (Book of the Month, March 2023)*

This masterful novel tackles troubled family dynamics with sparkling wit and searing insight.
*Sunday Express*

It's a compelling, empathetic and laugh-out-loud funny tale.
*Daily Mirror*

The perfect blend of sad and funny . . . it will stay with me for a long time.
*Scottish Field Magazine*

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