Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses – (AUDIOBOOK) – Kristen O’Neal – 23.05.21

I LOVED this audiobook. It’s narrated by a promising medical student, Priya, who has to drop out of college after getting a really bad case of Lyme Disease which leaves her so weak and fatigued that she’s unable to function normally. She joins an online support group for people suffering from chronic illness, and one of the great strengths of this book is the amazing cast of characters in the group – with diverse conditions and personalities, but offering great empathy and support without judgement for each other. As a long term sufferer of chronic illness myself (inflammatory arthritis) I felt a real connection with the people in the group and an acute understanding of their trials and struggles. It almost made me want to join such a group, but then I remembered what a crushingly private introvert I am and I realised that I could never be part of any such group! But I enjoyed their mutual support vicariously non-the-less. (One of the reasons I love fiction so much is that I can join in with groups like this without anyone actually seeing me, because I’m not actually there…).

Priya bonds especially with another girl in the group, who she discovers lives only an hour’s drive away from her. The Lycanthropy of the title refers to this girls condition, and this brings in the supernatural element of the novel. It is done in a really intelligent, ‘what if this was a real medical condition, how would it play out in real life and what would be the prognosis/treatment recommended’ kind of way that even people who don’t like that kind of thing might find fascinating (I love that kind of thing anyway, so I don’t really know!)

I totally recommend the book – I thought it was really great on lots of levels.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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