A Song Inside – review

You burned fiercely during your too-short life, sometimes with an intensity uncomfortable for you and those around you. But your presence was always felt.

None of us wants to lose a child. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. In 2016 Gill Mann’s much loved son, Sam died from schizophrenia at 22. In this beautifully written memoir she charts how she came to a fragile acceptance of his death, after he and the whole family struggled for years with such an unpredictable and devastating illness. A Song Inside describes the vital part Sam played in the lives of this close-knit family and the impact his illness and consequent death had on them all.

It is inevitably far from an easy read and often brought me to tears. This is an unsentimental, sensitive and at times raw dissection of living with illness and coping with grief. A Song Inside is both moving and honest; ultimately Gill Mann has written an uplifting love letter to her son, Sam.

A Song Inside is published by Retreat West Books on 22 July 2020. https://retreatwestbooks.com/memoirs/

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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