“All Of My Friends Are Rich” by Michael Sarais— Dealing with Life

Sarais, Michael. “All Of My Friends Are Rich”, Cloudy Day, 2020.

Dealing with Life

Amos Lassen

Orphan Leo Cotton is married to another man and feels that he has finally built a family’ However, when he is diagnosed with the beginning of bipolar depression his life takes a dark turn and he begins to wonder about the man he’d married.

A year later, Leo is completely lost. He has a a dead-end job that barely pays the bills while seeing that those around him are successful. When Sara, his closet friend, asks him to be her best man, Leo comes to the end of his rope knowing that financially he cannot afford to take part in the wedding festivities.

With a chance encounter on Grinder, he learns that there is a short way to become rich but it proves to be reckless and could cost him his friends and the little that he has left.

When we first meet Leo there seems to be something superficial about him especially as he openly cries about his place in the world and his lack of economic resources. As if that is not enough, he also has to deal with his divorce from husband Jake and  his ongoing psychiatric treatment because of his mental health.

We look at Leo’s trauma that has brought about his present situation and soon see that we are reading about a. man trying to come to terms with who he actually is. This is the story of how someone comes to terms with themselves through risk-taking, isolation and the judgement of others. We want to Leo to wake up and we want him strong enough to do so correctly. He must come to terms with his own past and
the people around him.

Michael Sarais’s debut novel is amazing, Not only is his prose pristine and a delight to read but the fact that he writes about society in the way that he does is endearing. The two main themes here are friendship and mental health and we see how poor mental health can mess up a life.



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