social work by Thomas Duffy

*Trigger warning – depression, suicide

Social Work is Thomas Duffy’s seventh book. It is a moving story about a young man named Marc who meets a social worker named Lauren after his attempt at suicide. This story is an exploration of the bond between Marc and Lauren and the problems they face in trying to overcome the obstacles both of them experience trying to achieve their own personal happiness. It is set in New York City. 

Duffy’s thoughts on Social Work

Social Work is a simple story about two people. However, the dialogue between them is far from that. It’s not solely about what is exchanged between Marc and Lauren, it’s what Thomas Duffy chooses to leave out. I would take a guess that he wrestled with that and it’s paid off. The sparseness of the dialogue at chosen moments adds to the air of loneliness which shrouds both of these characters in completely different ways.

I found myself getting frustrated with Marc and wondering why he couldn’t pull himself together and why he was so needy at times, but then instantly felt guilty. That’s real-life though, right? Not knowing how to help someone and getting frustrated when people don’t seem to find their way, or listen, and it’s why we need professionals to navigate those waters and that’s what Lauren does in this book. Her gentle nature and strong sense of values, even when struggling with her own personal situation were the perfect foil for the troubled Marc.

It’s not all loneliness and mental health issues, there are some funny clap-backs and some sweet moments which give Social Work an aura of hope and love.

If you enjoyed Marriage Story, give it a go!

Grab your copy here