If I describe Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone (Hamish Hamilton £16.99) as an intimate portrait of a family dealing with manic depression and suicide, it will not sound like the cheeriest read. And naturally, given the subject matter, it is terribly sad in places. Pehaps that is why it did not sell in large numbers. But I would urge readers to give it a try; I found this book an uplifting experience. For a start, it is written with unerring precision. Haslett captures pitch perfectly the voice of each family member, from manic, medicated Michael to tough, pragmatic Celia. By weaving their stories together, he creates a beautiful, intimate tribute to the way families survive, and manage to love and support each other, even when life is at its most difficult.

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AuthorAlice O'Keeffe