Holding Tight, Letting Go: My Life, Death and All the Madness In BetweenSarah Hughes
'Too often we minimise the reality of terminal cancer, concentrating instead on survival records and talking only in positive pink ribbon terms. But what of those who live daily with the shadow of the disease? This is a book about how that feels. It is about how to die as much as about to how to live; yet it is also life-affirming, funny and shot through with hope.'
Life is full of small details that we tuck away somewhere to revisit when we need them most: the calming sound of the sea, that childlike joy when you feel the sun hit your face on an early February morning. These small details knitted together, make up our perfect, ordinary lives. Few understood the importance of these more than Sarah Hughes, who lived with terminal metastatic cancer for over three years and who died in April 2021.
This book is a celebration of everything that can make up a life, and how to hold it all close: how to cherish the perspective-changing, exhale-bringing perspective of a trashy novel; how to find the upside of chemo (finally being able to fit into flippy french tea dresses); how to explore the intimate topography of a body that's yours and yours alone.
For fans of Matt Haig and Maggie O'Farrell, this is a tender word-of-mouth bestseller: the sort of book you'll press into the hands of your friends, family and a stranger in a bookshop.
Review: Packs in wisdom and wit, grace and frivolity... Her writing never fails to console, but it does so without cushioning reality's jagged edges. -- Hephzibah Anderson * The Observer *