Claire’s Head, a novel that will be released in the US in September, is a stunning depiction headache pain and treatment, desperation, and hope. Written by Catherine Bush, a migraineur, the novel is an examination of the relationship that someone with migraines has with him or herself and with others. Even if your headaches aren’t migraines, the struggle is probably familiar.
An Amazon review I read said that the first 150 pages are good, but the descriptions of headaches get old. The repetition might be annoying, but that’s the point. Frequent disabling headaches are bothersome and do interrupt the plot – whether it is the plot of fictional characters or real people.
If you have a hard time telling your loved ones what your headaches are like, pass this book on to them. There’s no way anyone can deny the reality of the pain after seeing it spelled out so well in this novel.
I feel like I’m writing an 8th grade book report when I say this, but reading Claire’s Head was like reading my own diary.
Note added Aug. 16, 2005: I copied this review so I could include it in an Amazon review and realized that I didn’t include a major part of it. While my ego would prefer if I just ignored this fact, I can’t mislead my dear readers.
The truth is, the book is great for showing the agony of headache, but isn’t a compelling novel. The plot isn’t believable, which makes the story boring. I still recommend the book, as it is great for showing headache pain, but don’t expect to have your socks knocked off. Despite this, the characters’ agony was enough to engage me for the first two-thirds of the book.
Sorry for the oversight.