Somewhere on the web, I do not remember where, I read a recommendation of Inglorious, by Joanna Kavenna, as a good book worth reading, especially if the reader has the experience to appreciate everything Kavenna gets exactly right about having a depressive episode. I’m not very far into it yet, but I’m enjoying it quite a bit (though it’s a hell of a pivot from the last book I read).
This is a cover letter that Rosa, the protagonist, writes, which is probably the most perfect example I’ve seen outside my own head of the very cover letter I feel like a fraud for not writing every time I apply for a job:
Dear Madam, I am a person of inconstant aims and mild destitution. I find this combination of qualities excludes me from many jobs. But working together, I’m sure we can exploit my talents successfully. I still have a cream suit, a relic from a former life. I am unexceptional in every way, and eager to serve. You can find me in a borrowed room, in west London. Yours faithfully, Rosa Lane.
I can see why the Publisher’s Weekly reviewer quoted on the Amazon page would say “but Rosa’s repetitive, nonresolving woes give the novel an unpleasant quality, something like Leaving Las Vegas meets Groundhog Day.” The novel’s prose style is halting to the point of almost resisting the reader (though lovely and erudite in a way that makes me miss having a decent vocabulary). But for Christ’s sake, the point-of-view character is depressed. Repetetive, unresolved woes are maybe, y’know, to be expected. Upon seeing that bit, maybe someone more generous than I wouldn’t have thought Oh, precious, was it unpleasant for you to read about that? My heart bleeds. but I couldn’t tell you for sure.