GIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULES

Dear Ella and Suse,

I am coming out of a really difficult time and trying to find my feet again, struggling to have trust in myself and let go of the prison of self-imposed rules and fears that are paralysing my wandering, yearning heart. I feel impatient, restless for something that I can't have (whatever that may be) and getting caught up in my mind and not allowing myself to go with the flow, to surrender. I need to relax but it's so hard. I need to feel free and sure of my instincts, to remember that I don't need someone to tell mewhat's best! I almost can't read for pleasure anymore, it feels like a chore. Can you help me?
Yours,
Girl of uncertainty.
Dear Girl of Uncertainty, 
We would not normally be so radical as to suggest a short story, but seeing as you say you can barely read for pleasure any more, we feel that a drastic approach is necessary for you. Read "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid. This is a set of rules being given by her mother to a girl- a bit old fashioned, a bit sexist, obviously from a previous generation - but with a twist. Read it and you will laugh. Or listen to it on the New Yorker Fiction podcast. It's all in there.
Once this has broken the paralysis of your heart, now read The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. This will also show you ways to get away from rules, the importance of relying on your instincts, and the necessity of making your own, more certain way in life.
After that, we think you need to spend some time with Finn Family Moomintroll, by Tove Janson - see Missed the Boat, below!
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Janson

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