cover image I Miss You When I Blink

I Miss You When I Blink

Mary Laura Philpott. Touchstone, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-982102-80-7

In this heartwarming if occasionally self-indulgent essay collection, Philpott (Penguins with People Problems) shares her struggle with depression despite an outwardly perfect life. Philpott weaves together a collection of anecdotes about her struggles with perfectionism, failure, and coming to terms with her need for change. She discusses her experiences with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome caused by fertility medication, her disconnect from the mundane conversations with friends after they all had children, and her ongoing war with her neighbor over their respective troublemaking pets. Amid this, she became weighed down by an “existential angst” and at times missed work deadlines, stopped washing her hair, and forgot about scheduled commitments. Philpott’s prose is conversational and easy to settle into (“Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting the world the same way we are, and being surprised they aren’t, and that’s the loneliness”). However, her tone, while aiming to be witty, can come across as arrogant (“I’m not a monster. I just want everything to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?”). Readers who worry their type-A personalities have led them to be unsatisfied with their successes, or those who yearn for change but can’t pinpoint exactly why, will find this book comforting and reassuring. Agent: Kristyn Keene, ICM. (Apr.)