The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

A fictional story that depicts the reality of mental illness behind a perception of normality

My Review:

I was gifted this book by the author, in exchange for a review. I was really hoping that I would enjoy it.

I must say I was not disappointed. This is a very well written, engaging and thought-provoking novel.

The short chapters make for easy reading, and the dialogue and narrative are excellent. What I liked the best however, is the main character, Amy. As we get to know her we can see how difficult life is for her, dealing with what I could see was OCD and depression. She really wants to fit in, and she tries so hard to overcome her difficulties.

But this is far from a gloomy read, it’s refreshingly honest and there is humour. The storyline is interesting too.

Amy and her supporting characters are engaging and authentic. Her colleagues in work are also her friends, and once she begins to let them in, their kindness really comes to the fore.

One of the things that really makes you think when it comes to the novel, is how timely it is at the moment. Some the things that Amy does, such as being wary of touching people or objects, wiping surfaces or excessive handwashing, don’t seem as unusual as they would have before the current pandemic. While Amy’s actions are ritualistic and not based on need, it does make you wonder if we have a rise in mental illnesses such as these in the future.

An entertaining and thought-provoking read, I really enjoyed this book. Recommended for anyone who enjoys an engaging and well written book.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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