I picked up this book somewhat randomly, encouraged by its pretty cover and backcover reviews that mentioned words like “optimistic”, “kind”, and “felt like a warm cup of tea”. I can confirm that all of the above were very much true and reading Psalm was one of the most therapeutic things I’ve done in a long time.
Like many others, I had my own share of burnout and soul-searching during the past two pandemic years, and the protagonist Dex’s quest to find “purpose” in life resonated deeply with me. Oh by the way, Psalm was the first book that I read with a gender nonbinary protagonist and I enjoyed how much it was a nonissue in the storytelling (one of the many ways the world is “an optimistic vision”). But back to my point, this book felt particularly poignant as I prepare to defend my PhD and move beyond. This book reminded me that we don’t need our work to be enough, it is enough to exist in the world and marvel at it. That we are allowed to just live.