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The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers

2006, Fourth Estate


Caravaggio the painter comes to mind when I think of this book, about a woman who has tried to commit suicide and tells her story to a psychiatrist.


The woman's lover, who has inadvertently caused her great pain, admired Caravaggio, as did the psychiatrist's friend and mentor. We thus learn about Caravaggio's fascinating and chaotic life, his deeply emotional paintings, and the meanings they might convey.


Look at the book cover, then at the painting below by Caravaggio, Death of the Virgin, depicting the apostles and Mary Magdalene. Find the similarity between the two images (not difficult but you have to look closely at least I did.)

Death of the Virgin, Caravaggio, 1606

A few quotes I liked:


The psychiatrist:

"It bothers me how infrequently people in my profession apologise. Everyone makes mistakes, why would a psychiatirst or an anlyst be different?...It's mistakes that let the light in." p 40


What the main character found in her lover:

"To be both thoroughly known and thoroughly liked for it would be a tremendous allure." p 117


A little tip:

To remember which way the clock goes for the summer and winter (fall) time changes: "Spring forward, fall back." p 47




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