Little Bandaged Days

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Along with Rachel Cusk's 'A Life's Work', I think every woman thinking about having children should read this. Rachel's book was non-fiction, and this is fiction, but so much of it is close to the truth. A woman with 2 young children, moved to another country for her husband's job, left on her own for days and sometimes weeks at a time, unable to speak the language, no friends, always having to keep a smile on her face for the children, smelling perfume on her husband's clothes, unable to tell him she can't cope on her own, the apartment slowly sinking into a state of mess and disrepair, her mental health slowly deteriorating. You find yourself as the reader quietly screaming out for someone to notice what is happening to this poor woman before it's too late.

A riveting, upsetting and emotional read.
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This is such a completely absorbing book and so beautifully written I found myself getting totally immersed in the life of the mother her two children B and E and husband M. Her descent into madness is strangely compelling, sad and uncomfortable at times but yet because of the sublime writing it makes for one hell of a read. 
As others have remarked it’s hard to believe this is a first novel from Kyra Wilder and if this is the quality of her writing then I sure look forward to reading more of her books. 
It’s a difficult book to describe strange, pitifully sad and dealing with some extremely traumatic issues it’s a book that is perhaps not for everyone but for me it was an excellent read.
My thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan, Picador for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book wasnt anything like I was expecting! I found the style of writing strange and not really for me! It tells the story of a couple separated by his job so the mum of two children E and B has to cope alone with the isolation and childcare which causes her to slide into a depression, I found it repetitive particularly the outings to the park and no real backbone to the story, unfortunately I only got half way through the book before giving up which is something I very rarely do but this book just wasn’t for me!
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In this novel the main character describes her descent into postnatal madness which was quite unsettling as I kept wanting to rush in and rescue her children. There were too many points in the plot where I questioned why there was no intervention from her husband and / or neighbours. This book didn't really work for me though I can't fault the quality of the writing which is why I have settled on giving a 3 star rating.
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The writing was amazing. The feeling of suffocating and the walls closing in seemed to encompass me too. The only issue I had were the initials. There was no need and disconnected me.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.  Not sure about this book it was ok but did not leave any lasting thoughts so I could give a comprehensive review,  sorry
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A very claustrophobic story about a mother gradually being drawn into depression and possible madness. I found it to be very drawn out. I was unsure of how much the father needed to take the blame for what was happening to his wife and children, as they were certainly at risk. I was annoyed at the use of initials for her family. Why?.... It did not make sense to me. Not a book I particularly enjoyed.
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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.
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Not quite sure how to comment on this book! Wasn’t for me although I persevered to the end! A mother’s descent into madness! Found it too unbelievable that her husband didn’t seem to notice or care! She is basically left alone with no language or company with small children! Kept waiting on the pace changing! Left me feeling flat!
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Little Bandaged Days is the story of a young mother who has moved to Geneva for her husband's high-flying job. While he is working increasingly long hours at the office, or schmoozing clients over steak and champagne, his wife is taking care of their two small children. At great pains to seem like the perfect mother, our narrator - who remains nameless for much of the novel - is the model housewife to begin with: suits are pressed, the children are clean and well-dressed, and dinner is on the table every night. But as her sense of loneliness increases and her grasp on reality seems ever more tenuous, the reader begins to worry: just what is this over taxed young mother really capable of? 

It's difficult to believe this is a first novel: Kyra Wilder has created a beautifully wrought work of fiction with gorgeous imagery, and a genuine sense of foreboding. Certain tricks are used to great effect, for example, referring to the children and husband by only initials rather than their full names makes them slightly less real to us than the narrator is; it also made me feel like I was reading a redacted record at times, where the names had been removed for reasons of privacy, which made the world feel even more real, and sinister. The prose itself is beautiful, lending itself more to poetry at times, though never over-flowery. 

I was gripped by this book from the start, and spent most of the book hoping that everything turned out well while also being darkly sure it wouldn't (I won't say anything else about that as I don't want to spoil the book for people who haven't read it). Stunning writing from a ridiculously talented new author - I can't wait to see what Kyra Wilder writes next, but consider me first in line for her next book. 

Thank you to NetGalley, who provided me with a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review 

Creepy crawly less of of a thriller than a narrative of post party depression but still enjoyable in its way
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A different sort of book, but easy to read. It took a bit of getting used to as the main character only named her family by their initials. It was fast paced, almost as though you could hear her breathlessly talking and trying to achieve things. It was harrowing in a way as you felt like a bystander, witnessing this woman’s isolation and decline. I felt there were a few unanswered questions - why were there conversations with her mother which suddenly ceased, what was really happening with her husband? All those questions may be in keeping with the narrative of the book, though.
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Pan Macmillan - Picador, for the ARC.
I'm afraid this really wasn't for me; from the description I thought it would be much more of a 'story', whereas the narrative conveys, in interminable detail, the almost 'depraved' decent into madness of a young mother.

Erika, with husband 'M' and 2 young children 'B' and 'E' move to Switzerland for 'M's job.  He's missing more and more from their rented apartment, you never find out what he actually does and he seems to be oblivious to his wife's mental decline.  Erika is at first enchanted by the move but not speaking French tends to leave her isolated.  She wants to be the perfect wife and mother but as she dwells on this she begins to lose her identity and she neglects her children, barricades them for hours in the apartment under the pretext of games and feeds them bizarre combinations of snacks and drinks.  

The narrative is split between Then and Now - where the reader has to assume that Erika is in an asylum, locked into her own thoughts.

Frankly, after skimming a lot of the book just to get to the ending, having reached it - I still have no idea what actually happened.
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Little Bandaged Days is a profoundly intuitive, deep and compelling novel but I personally found it almost impossible to finish due to the emotions it brought to the fore. It was a very tense read and I feared for the children's safety and the mother's sanity whilst at the same time feeling so very frustrated by the father's apparent ignorance of the situation he had placed his wife and family in.
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This was a very different book, and the idea behind it was good. However, I found it very difficult to get into, and almost painful in parts to read. The ending left many questions unanswered, and although I am sure that a lot of people will enjoy this rather challenging book, it wasn't really for me.
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with her husband and two young children for her husband’s job. He is increasingly away from home more and more. She finds herself isolated in a country where she doesn’t even speak the language. We follow Erika‘s descent into madness.

This was an average book to me. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I found it strange that Erika referred to her husband and children by initial only. This did irritate me at first but I got used to it. As a mum of two with a husband in the Navy there was a lot that I could relate to. This was a different read for me. I thought that the descent into madness was done quite subtly. I didn’t rate the ending but I could understand why it was done that way.
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This is an unusual book and a very intense one. The story is of a young mother of two who moves with her successful husband to Geneva. While he pursues his career and goodness knows what else, she quietly goes mad in their flat. She doesn't speak French and her social interactions are minimal. People who she meets are more alive in her imagination than in reality.  She makes little effort to change this and we can assume that she was already fragile before she arrived in this new world.

So far so good. But the book is hard to read partly because the subject matter of a descent into craziness is disturbing but largely because the narrative is fast and furious with hardly a pause for breath. We are inside her. Her children and her husband are named only with their initials which was irritating to read but I can understand that it served a function as an extra way to show her separation from reality. But the use of initials, along with the breathless writing style plus the strange parallel story which I couldn't make sense of and in the end gave up reading, made this an uncomfortable read.

However, there were many passages which were extremely well written and the descent into the hell of madness was powerful enough to keep me going until the end.  I was intrigued, irritated, frustrated and fascinated in almost equal measure.
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As an 'amateur' book reviewer, I love Netgalley and the fact that it makes me read books that I would not otherwise have picked up. 'Little Bandaged Days' is definitely one of those books. The first thing that struck me when I began the book was that the narrator refers to her husband and children using only initials - I felt it depersonalised them somewhat. The story begins with a 'normal' family of a mother, father and two children moving to Geneva with the husband's job. 

Erika, increasingly alone with the children in a city where she knows no-one and speaks very little of the language, feels isolated  and sleep-deprived and her descent into mental disorder begins. It is sometimes difficult to tell where the truth ends and her paranoid mind takes over. 

This is a traumatic tale of a woman who loves so much it blinds her to so many truths, including her own.

Little Bandaged Days by Kyra Wilder was sent to me by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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This was a difficult book to read. It was well written and was a compulsive read, but the undertone of dread and the potential harm to the children made it a pretty heart wrenching read. I just marked it down a star as I didn’t completely understand the ending, and I wasn’t sure if it was just me not understanding it or it was meant to be left open to interpretation.
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“I made my face ready to smile just in case she looked back at me but she didn’t, so I let my mouth sag because sometimes it just is what it is” 
I really enjoyed Little Bandaged Days. Erika’s slow decline into madness is so beautifully narrated, everything hidden inside Wilder’s intense prose. What I found most interesting were the markers of Erika’s madness beginning to set in, the fort being left up when M returned home, the lipstick in the walls, the constant cleaning until her hands bled and ultimately the candles. The second narrative confused me a little, I assumed she had done something bad and ended up sectioned but the ending suggests otherwise.  
Little Bandaged Days is such an honest and heartbreaking account of the struggles that come with mental illness. Erika clearly loves her family, she’s constantly striving to say the right thing to M and look a certain way and be a “good mother” and do good mother things but the resentment and loneliness that plagues her is too much. 
Overall a great read, just would have liked a little more clarity with the second narrative. Thank you Netgalley and Picador Books
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