Book review: Chase The Rainbow by Poorna Bell

Poorna Bell’s Chase The Rainbow tackles three of widowhood’s biggest taboos and shows they don’t have to destroy you or your love for your partner.   Around the middle of the book Poorna points out how friends talk in endless detail about their relationships but once they marry they say much less. There is a similar thing with widowed people and lies. Anything a person … Continue reading Book review: Chase The Rainbow by Poorna Bell

Book review: It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine

Megan Devine’s new book is brave but not in the way people who haven’t been through a tragedy say that about those who have; I mean like putting your head in a lion’s mouth, brave.   She strides calmly into the howling abyss of the early days of grief, to meet the newly bereaved where they are. She is a psychotherapist and also a widow. … Continue reading Book review: It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine

Book review: Thinking Out Loud. Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad by Rio Ferdinand

This is a much-needed voice in grief memoirs. Rio Ferdinand is, by his own description, a very cold fish, or he was until his wife died. That she didn’t get to see the more open, warmer man that he has become is only one of the regrets with which he contends.   I was wrong to think that this book would simply be a written … Continue reading Book review: Thinking Out Loud. Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad by Rio Ferdinand

Book review: The Grief Survival Guide by Jeff Brazier

Jeff Brazier’s Grief Survival Guide is down-to-earth, packed full of good advice and not afraid of tackling the more difficult aspects of bereavement.   This is a book that says okay, this situation is awful but it’s happening so let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle it. The only problem I have with it is that calling the book a bereavement guide means most people … Continue reading Book review: The Grief Survival Guide by Jeff Brazier

Book review: My Mourning Year. A Memoir of Bereavement Discovery and Hope by Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall says he is campaigning for a mourning year to be recognised as the amount of time during which the bereaved need extra support. His new book, My Mourning Year. A Memoir of Bereavement, Discovery and Hope, shows that he doesn’t mean support as in being cocooned; he means a more realistic understanding of grief so that the bereaved can be supported in living … Continue reading Book review: My Mourning Year. A Memoir of Bereavement Discovery and Hope by Andrew Marshall

Book review: Hood by Emma Donoghue

Pen O’Grady makes her way through the first week after her girlfriend, Cara Wall, dies in a traffic accident. She confides in the reader her thoughts and reminiscences on her life with Cara, as well as on the mundane matters of taking phone messages and arranging for time off work.   The humour and irreverence of Pen’s voice is charming in itself but there are … Continue reading Book review: Hood by Emma Donoghue

Book review: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

The English translation is available as two novellas in one book: Kitchen and then the shorter, Moonlight Shadow. In both stories young women are finding their way through the aftermath of the death of a loved one.   In Kitchen, Mikage, who has already lost both parents and a grandfather, is now reeling from the death of her grandmother. Finding herself alone in the world, … Continue reading Book review: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Book review: The Owl At The Window

Carl Gorham has written a memoir about life with his wife Vikki, her death and how he got through the first year or so of widowhood with their six-year-old daughter.   I listened to the audiobook version, which is read by comedian Alan Davies. It might be my favourite reading of an audiobook. His voice conveys real warmth and copes equally well with the emotionally … Continue reading Book review: The Owl At The Window

Review: All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

Decca is a British journalist whose first book was The Promised Land. Travels in search of the perfect E. I read her in Cosmopolitan in my twenties and she now writes about politics, the arts and more for The Guardian. She’s always seemed razor-sharp and fearless and she brings every ounce of that to her new book, All at Sea. The story tells of her … Continue reading Review: All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

Review: Bough Down by Karen Green

Like Imtiaz Dharker, Green is an artist as well as poet and her pictures illustrate this collection of poems.   The images in the pictures are fragmented and obscured, which echo the feel of the poems as they sift through events for shards of meaning.   Her husband was a well-known novelist who died by suicide and there is a pervasive sense of shock and … Continue reading Review: Bough Down by Karen Green

Book review: The Snow Leopard

Peter Matthiessen was forty-six and recently widowed when he went trekking in the Himalayas. This book is his account of that trip, taken with a friend who was studying rare wildlife.   The narrative is written in the form of a diary and melds together travelogue, detailed cataloguing of natural history and an introduction to Buddhism.   Among his many works of fiction and non-fiction, … Continue reading Book review: The Snow Leopard