Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: Out now
Two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting chatting with her grandmother on a park bench in New York when a brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead and strikes her unconscious. As she is rushed to hospital in the hours before her death Once More We Stars leads us into the unimaginable.
Her father Jayson and mother Stacy begin a painful journey that is as much about hope and healing as it is grief and loss. Even in the midst of his ordeal, Jayson recognises that there will be a life for him beyond it – if he can only continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems un-survivable. With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, he captures the fragility of life and the absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love.
This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation – and a book that will change the way you look at the world.Taken from Once More We Saw Stars
All the time I was reading this book, the same question kept popping into my head: “How am I going to review this book?”. Is it really right to pass judgement on someone’s story of a brutal loss, their grief, and that of their family and friends? I’ve not been there. I’ve got no idea.
Greene’s story is just what it says in the synopsis. It is his primarily his experience (along with that of his wife, Stacy, and their families) of losing their two-year-old daughter, Greta. He does not spare the reader; the book is raw and emotional, and has parts that you maybe would rather not know but to avoid them would defeat the point.
As an experienced writer, Greene has clearly gone to great lengths to express himself clearly and from my perspective there is something cathartic about the writing. That’s not to say it is a way of erasing the grief; it is another piece to the puzzle that is grief, one that will never be completed.
The only part of the book I found uncomfortable is Greene’s spiritual journey following the loss of Greta. Spiritualism is so far removed from my own outlook on life that I found myself squirming slightly. However, I would say that it has given me a different perspective on grief and grieving, and how we all have different ways of finding some semblance of peace.
There are lessons about grief for everyone in this book and I would like to take the opportunity to thank Jayson for sharing his story in such a profound way.
Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What do you think of Once More We Saw Stars? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.