May 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
If you need an illustration of how life can turn from happiness to despair in an instant then read All at Sea an account that shows how, in minutes, Decca Aitkenhead's beloved husband died in front of her. On holiday, their son got into difficulty in the sea and her husband jumped in to rescue him, they both managed to get the boy to shore but her husband drowned. The story of their unlikely relationship and the aftermath of the drowning is told with clarity and a lack of self-pity that makes it hard to read at times. What does shine through is Decca Aitkenhead's tribute to her beautiful husband, her book a way of celebrating his life and considerable achievements.
Like for Like Reading. After You by Natascha McElhone. Living on the Seabed: A Memoir of Love, Life and Survival by Lindsay Nicholson
'The thing to remember about this story is that every word is true. If I never told it to a soul, and this book did not exist, it would not cease to be true. I don't mind at all if you forget this. The important thing is that I don't.' On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead's life changed for ever. Her four-year-old boy was paddling peacefully at the water's edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son's life - then drowned before her eyes. When Decca and Tony first met a decade earlier, they became the most improbable couple in London. She was an award-winning Guardian journalist, famous for interviewing leading politicians. He was a dreadlocked criminal with a history of drug-dealing and violence. No one thought the romance would last, but it did. Until the tide swept Tony away, plunging Decca into the dark chasm of random tragedy. Exploring race and redemption, privilege and prejudice, ALL AT SEA is a remarkable story of love and loss, of how one couple changed each other's lives and of what a sudden death can do to the people who survive.
'A story of absolute heartbreak, but also a story of unbelievable courage'
'An entrancing love story; a horrifying death story; a book about class, family, growing up, taking risks and learning how to be strong. This is a memoir like no other. Read it once, and it will be inside your head forever'
'If you buy just one book this year, make it this one. I have never read anything like it and wished it would never end'
'A brave book about emotional truth. It brought a tear to my eye, and will be deeply empowering for those who read it'
'A sad, sad story of a remarkable relationship, beautifully told. Huge universal themes such as love, loss and grief are conveyed in intimate detail and with searing honesty. Anyone who has loved, lost or grieved - that's all of us - should read it.'
'A beautiful and painful guidebook through the taboo subject of death. Decca made me miss someone I've never met and, for today at least, savour those I love'
'A remarkable story of sudden tragedy and grief, of love and resilience'
'All at Sea grabs you from the first three lines and masterfully pulls you into an ocean of startling and redemptive grief. A surprising love story, searingly honest, a book of family, loss, death and ultimately life. A triumphant tour de force'
'Unbearably moving and almost brutally compelling'
Publication date: 07/04/2016
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||7th April 2016|
|Publisher:||Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, The Real World,|
|Categories:||True stories, Coping with death & bereavement, Family & relationships, Advice on parenting,|
Decca Aitkenhead is an award-winning journalist (Catherine Pakenham Award 1996, Interviewer of the Year in 2009) for The Guardian newspaper, where she interviews leading figures in public life. She was born in Wiltshire in 1971, and studied politics and modern history at Manchester University, where she began her career in journalism at the Manchester Evening News. She has been a columnist and features writer for most national newspapers and magazines, and a regular contributor to BBC radio and television. She lives in rural Kent with her two young sons. In 2000 she wrote a travel book, The Promised Land, about going around the world ...More About Decca Aitkenhead