This is one of those books that makes you want to read every line aloud to your poor husband who is trying to watch the UFC. Because there’s something on almost every page that leaps out and touches you. Thing is, every time you interrupt said husband with a Matt Haig quote he can’t help but listen, reflect and smile. Because this book rings so so true.
I finished the last few pages against the soundtrack of the hubby fighting with the broken cistern of the leaking toilet. Which could have been highly annoying. But it actually made me smile. Anxiety, as I know first hand, propels you into an unknown future that inevitably spells hell. Matt Haig reminds us that the hell is transient but that knowing it means we can deeply appreciate the good stuff. And listening to the fella I love fixing a loo while wearing ridiculous underpants and talking to himself is actually a moment to cherish rather than an interfering annoyance.
I watched Stephen Fry earlier. From 2014. He talked about how great the library stamp going into your latest book sounds. And I could almost smell the library back in Beverley when he said it. Matt Haig presents us with oodles of opportunities to stop and appreciate those feelings and senses and moments that we let pass by far too often.
Of course, as in life, the book is both light and dark. I don’t think we’d believe the author if it wasn’t. And those dark chapters can remind you of your own dark days and experiences but that only reinforces an important point that Matt Haig makes. That those moments are fleeting. They will pass.
If Reasons to Stay Alive doesn’t lift you up and make you reevaluate how you spend your precious time, I will eat the damn book! (But I will do it slowly and savour each page!)