'With honesty, compassion, humour and intelligence, Tara Lal has written a deeply affecting memoir. Her courageous book tracks the nature and processes of destruction, but more than this, the crucial reconstructions that can follow.' - Alex Garland, screenwriter, director, producer and bestselling author of The Beach
Tara's childhood was scarred by the debilitating mental illness of her father and by her mother's death from cancer when she was thirteen. Caught up in grief and despair, Tara and her older brother Adam developed a deep, caring bond, but Adam struggled silently with growing anxiety and depression. Four years after their mother's death, he committed suicide, throwing himself from his study window at Oxford University. Grief and insecurity threatened to engulf Tara, but eventually she found, within her brother's diaries, her reason to live. The story moves from London to Sydney as Tara rebuilds her life, firstly as a physiotherapist and then a firefighter. Through her search for understanding and a powerful dialogue with her brother, she eventually gains freedom from the past and a life of meaning. Trained in suicide prevention, the author hopes that Part 1 will allow the reader to identify risk factors for mental illness, as well as strategies that reduce the effect of trauma and loss. Part 2 seeks to give examples of techniques to improve resilience. And in Part 3 her story shows how we can aid post-traumatic growth and improve happiness levels through positive psychology.
This is, without question, the most beautifully written, sensitive, balanced account of grieving that I have ever read. This book is going to be an absolute must read . Patrick Casement, psychoanalyst and award-winning author of "On Learning from the Patient" and "Learning from Our Mistakes" A deeply affecting memoir. Tara s courageous book tracks the nature and processes of destruction, and more than this, the crucial reconstructions that can follow. Alex Garland, bestselling author of "The Beach" When she was young, Tara suffered two terribly cruel losses in quick succession. The compounded grief could have left her emotionally wiped out for life, but instead she learned from it in a most profound and moving way. She is now one of the bravest people I know, a woman of great competence working as a firefighter. She is an emotional and a physical warrior. She knows vulnerability well, but has learned how to live beyond loss, to make a meaningful life. Her story will stay with you and inspire you for ever. Dr Margo Orum, psychologistand author Tara s inspiring story takes therapy and moves it into real life. Her resilience comes from tenacity, intelligence and openness to new experiences. She persisted with study, work and relationships, using her courage and adaptiveness to create a life worthy of her and the people she loves. Tony Merritt, clinical psychologist This is the honest and at times raw telling of the story of a strong but vulnerable firefighter as she struggles with, and is transformed by, the legacy of grief associated with the childhood loss of loved ones. Those on a similar journey will find guidance, inspiration and reassurance in this open, heartfelt book. Susan Burton, psychologist I loved this book. So many times it expresses fears and doubts that we all have, in a succinct and yet profound manner. Tara s gift is to involve readers so completely in her journey that they, as I did, see the parallels in their own lives. I found it truly inspiring. Clinton Batty, psychologist"