Family is the best thing in your life. And the worst.
My mother once said to me, ‘I wish you could feel the way I do for eighteen seconds. Just eighteen seconds, so you’d know how awful it is.’
I thought about it. Realised we could all learn from being in another person’s head for eighteen seconds. Eighteen seconds inside Grandma Roberts’ head as she sat alone with her evening cup of tea, us girls upstairs in bed. Eighteen seconds inside one-year-old Colin’s head when he woke up in a foster home without his family. Eighteen seconds inside the head of a girl waiting for her bedroom door to open.
Writer, Louise Beech, looks back on the events that led to the day her mother wrote down her last words, then jumped off the Humber Bridge. She missed witnessing the horror herself by minutes.
Louise recounts the pain and trauma of her childhood alongside her love for her siblings with delicious dark humour and a profound voice of hope for the future.
Thank you to Mardle Books for kindly sending me an early proof of Eighteen Seconds.
Im not sure what drew me to this memoir by author Louise Beech but I’m so glad, which is a strange thing to say about such a touching and horrific memoir.
This book will not be for everyone, it deals with mental health issues, abuse, suicide and fractured families, that said this is such an uplifting book, and what comes from reading it, is hope, hope that through the darkest of times, we can overcome and find joy and love in those around us, that support us and love us for who we are, not what we’ve been through.
Louise Beech writes with assured honesty and dark humour ( I’m just going to add here that growing up with a chronically ill Mother, my Brother and I have learnt this art, an example…when our Mum used to go to the local chest hospital ( she had chronic asthma ), there was a sign on entering saying “Dead Slow”, well us being kids laughed at it, and I remember my Mum also laughing but my Dad got very cross with us all!), in fact, I actually felt Louise coming off the pages and talking just to me. What an absolute talent, to be able to look back and write of past and current horrors BUT move forward and learn to work through the very situations and emotions that can floor anyone, to survive and become an excellent writer is amazing, to have used writing as a way of dealing with some of the awful things that happened to Louise and her siblings, is such an uplifting event.
My overall feeling when I had finished Eighteen Seconds was that I just wanted to find Louise Beech and give her the biggest hug ever! Not because I feel sorry for her but because I’m in awe of her talent and ability to move on with her life in such a positive way. obviously, I’m not able to do this, but should I ever meet Louse Beech I shall definitely give her a huge Jude hug!.
A touching, heartfelt, moving, horrific and uplifting memoir and well deserving of 5 Stars.
You can buy Eighteen Seconds for £9.19 HERE
You can visit Louise’s website HERE