A Body in Review

by Audrey T. Carroll


Follow this journey from girlhood to womanhood in what the New York Times has called “a harrowing reminder of what can happen to a body” and what bestselling novelists have said is “a horror story paralleling the likes of Stephen King, with a mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie.” The Body maps trauma through a series of diagnoses that lead from one medication to the next, and explores the way that a body moves through the world when there is no cure for what ails it.

Tags: fibromyalgia; chronic; illness; disability; bodies; canes; horror; mystery; domestic fiction; women’s fiction


★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Inspiring. A gripping tale of how God only gives us what we can handle.”

“Why was stress such a big factor in The Body? I thought it was leading up to some big moral or lesson, but it kind of seemed like a pointless plot hole or something.”
“The tone of The Body seems bitter. A more hopeful tone would have helped.”
“Depressing, but the descriptions were nice.”

“Too much focus on physical symptoms of the body. Not enough about what I personally wanted to read about.”
“Would have been more comfortable with differently abled than disabled. Why is The Body so negative?”
The Body seems like it’s always malfunctioning. There were the neurological problems that the author thought was a brain tumor, those reproductive growths that the author thought would require surgery, and this sense of constantly waiting for another diagnosis to pop up. There’s a lot of tension, which is interesting for the reader, but no true resolution to the story.”
The Body seems like it was made to be annoying.”

“Reading about illness isn’t exactly exciting. Descriptions of the pain were vivid in some places, but mostly too abstract and confusing. Just because The Body is confused doesn’t mean that the reader has to be.”
“It would have been more interesting to read about a handicapped person overcoming adversities by doing something like climbing a mountain. Mostly The Body is just about daily struggles, but everybody has those, so it’s not really so inspiring.”
“I hope that the sequel to The Body is called The Cure. I don’t want to read sad books. Took a star off because I read this at the beach and you should NOT take The Body to the beach. NOT A FUN BEACH READ.”
★ ★ ★ ★
The Body never seems to want to work. The author highlights a lot of pain, and it might be relatable to some but not others. The premise is interesting—a young woman who has to use a cane—but it never feels like it quite makes its meaning clear. While I enjoyed the way that The Body keeps moving forward, I do wonder what the point in all the pain was.”

Audrey T. Carroll is the editor of Musing the Margins: Essays on Craft (Human/Kind Press, 2020). Her writing, which has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net, has appeared in Lost Balloon, Bending Genres, Hawaii Pacific Review, CRAFT, Jet Fuel Review, So to Speak, and others. She is a bi/queer and disabled/chronically ill writer who serves as a Diversity & Inclusion Editor for the Journal of Creative Writing Studies. She can be found at http://audreytcarrollwrites.weebly.com and @AudreyTCarroll on Twitter and Instagram.

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