So Luckyis a compact, brutal story of losing power and creating community, fast-paced as a punch in the face. Mara Tagarelli, director of the Georgia AIDS Partnership, is used to fighting her way to victory on others’ behalf—but shortly after separating from her wife of 14 years, she loses her job and learns she has multiple sclerosis...finding few resources available to people with M.S., Mara sets out to create them...but as she navigates the disease’s effect on her life, job and relationships, she grows aware of a shadowy, grinning thing stalking her peripheral vision—and becomes certain that a string of murders and home invasions is targeting the community she’s building...beautifully written, with a flexible, efficient precision that embodies the protagonist’s voice and character.
Far too little fiction reflects the experiences and realities of those with disabilities, and when it does, it often reads as an exercise in tokenism. In So Lucky, a disconcerting but very necessary book, Griffith presents a protagonist with substance, complexity, and purpose. Mara is so much more than her diagnosis and limitations, but her story underlines the insidiousness of ableism and the lamentable mistreatment and neglect of the chronically ill and disabled among us.
In the first ten pages of Nicola Griffith’s latest novel, thirty-something narrator Mara Tagarelli’s wife of fourteen years announces the end of their marriage, Mara starts a new relationship with an old friend, and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ... An unusual plot twist involving serial killers and a string of hate crimes enables Griffith to explore again the grey area between the real and imagined. Afraid that she will be the next victim, Mara buys a gun and says to herself, I think I’m being hunted. Or haunted ... The world of Nicola Griffith’s So Lucky is governed by ableist misconception and ignorance, but it is also marked by hope and human connection ... It’s a narrative that at once informs, confronts, puzzles and engages. I have little doubt that readers who take it up will be rewarded.