GAPING HOLE

Dear Ella and Suse,

As a medical student and bibliophile myself, I think what you're doing is simply marvellous! I  believe in the power of books to lift you out of a funk- so to speak- and in my case, the second episode of clinical depression that I'm dealing with currently. But that comes with a downside. Good books leave me with a gaping hole when they end, and that makes my mood take a turn for the worse (like the one I just finished - Zadie Smith's White Teeth). So what I'd love is a series of books written beautifully. Funnily, I enjoy novellas too. Not a fan of too many adjectives or descriptive passages. Any books which would help me gain a positive outlook on my condition would be a great help as well.
What would you recommend for me?
Thank you once again!
Dear Clinically Depressed,
You may already have read Edward St Aubyn's superb series of books, the Patrick Melrose novels, but if you have not, they certainly fit your bill. Beautifully written, hard hitting, with the author as no stranger to clinical depression, you will be led by this author into the dark story of Melrose's life, which is by no means a happy tale. Although our hero suffers from the start, the novels have a great sense of dark humour, and the reader roots for Melrose passionately from the start. Get the whole series, and work through them. There are scenes of child abuse and drug taking, just to warn you. On a gentler note, the novels of Patrick Gale will also help you, as some, though not all, of his stories interweave and interconnect. Start with Notes from an Exhibition, and move on to A Perfectly Good Man, as these two continue the story of one of the characters. If you enjoy these, Gale has a rich seam of other novels to explore, and he will certainly meet your criteria for brilliant writing, without too much extra descriptive writing. 
For a positive outlook on your condition, Mr Chartwell is a book that turns depression into a literal Black Dog. The dog comes from Winston Churchill's own depicition of his depression, but in this novel the dog is a friend to others too. The combined familiarity and inevitability of the dog, as well as its horror, make the illness seem somehow more manageable - without in any way being ridiculous- the novel takes the condition very seriously, even though it has its darkly comic side.
Thankyou for endorsing what we do, and do let us know how you get on with the books.
All the best,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - Mother's Milk and the other four Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

TWEETS
@THENOVELCURE

A - Z
LIST
OF QUESTIONS

A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE