Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.
Little Bandaged Days is Kyra Wilder’s debut novel. It’s a difficult book to categorise into a genre.
Erika moves to Geneva with her two young children and husband for his career. A fantastic opportunity, but one which means Erika’s husband is never around. They rent a beautiful apartment, but Erika soon finds it small, claustrophobic, and isolating. Erika has nothing to do but care for her children, which soon becomes an unbearably heavy burden for her. Erika feels truly alone, and begins to question her sanity.
The writing style of Little Bandaged Days intrigued me and reminded me of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar; Wilder draws attention to a depressed, female protagonist and writes with short, blunt sentences all the time which emphasise the simplicity and mundanity of her life. It quickly becomes apparent Erika cares little for anything and is deeply unhappy.
The book is character-focused rather than plot-focused. This is an important point to bear in mind before reading. If you aren’t interested in exploring the mind of one person over time, watching them struggle more and more, and seeing them descend into “insanity”, this will not be the book for you. In terms of plot, nothing much happens. Every day is the same – that’s the point. I think this writing style excellently captures the reality of experiencing deep depression or anxiety.
However, whilst I found these things interesting, Wilder’s choice of writing style and decision to focus on character rather than plot can risk being perceived as boring by others. To use only short and simple sentences makes the book feel… well, short and simple and, arguably, lacking in complexity. In addition, as already mentioned, not much happens, meaning a lot of readers may find it difficult to keep reading and simply give up. I’ll admit, I struggled to persevere at points – I felt confused, desperate for clarity, and eager for a resolution.
On the one hand, these could be reasons to snub Little Bandaged Days as “poorly written” or “boring”.
On the other hand, the confusion and lack of clarity I felt whilst reading Erika’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences mirrors the Erika herself, and this led me to genuinely sympathise with her.
I don’t think Little Bandaged Days is a book for everyone. However, if you are interested in character-focused books or books that deal with mental health, I would suggest you give this a go.
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars
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I acquired this book for free in exchange for a review via NetGalley and Pan Macmillan.
Have you read this book? What did you think?
This post was last updated in January 2020.