After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father

Natascha McElhone

After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father

Natascha McElhone, star of The Truman Show and Californication, was filming in LA, seven months pregnant with her third child with her other two young children playing in the gym across the road when she got a call from a friend that would change her life forever. Her husband, Martin, the love of her life and father to her delightful children and an apparently healthy man in his early 40s had died suddenly of a heart attack. In the weeks and months that followed the devastating shock Natascha continued to write her diary and letters to Martin (something she had always done as, due to her work, she was used to being far from home). They were letters of love, letters about their gorgeous boys, letters about the birth of the new baby and diary entries detailing the mundane and heartbreaking details of her new life: house repairs and terrifying family finances; trying to keep the children's lives as normal as possible in the face of such abnormal new circumstances. The result is a powerful, honest and moving story of a magical love affair and all-consuming grief, of being a mother alone and trying to live for the future. 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Family & Lifestyle
Format Hardback
Pages 128
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication July 2010
ISBN 978-0670919093
Publisher Viking
 

Natascha McElhone, star of The Truman Show and Californication, was filming in LA, seven months pregnant with her third child with her other two young children playing in the gym across the road when she got a call from a friend that would change her life forever. Her husband, Martin, the love of her life and father to her delightful children and an apparently healthy man in his early 40s had died suddenly of a heart attack. In the weeks and months that followed the devastating shock Natascha continued to write her diary and letters to Martin (something she had always done as, due to her work, she was used to being far from home). They were letters of love, letters about their gorgeous boys, letters about the birth of the new baby and diary entries detailing the mundane and heartbreaking details of her new life: house repairs and terrifying family finances; trying to keep the children's lives as normal as possible in the face of such abnormal new circumstances. The result is a powerful, honest and moving story of a magical love affair and all-consuming grief, of being a mother alone and trying to live for the future.

"Natascha McElhone: My grief" The Guardian, 10/7/10

Reviews

The Observer

Elizabeth Day

...a brave and extraordinary testament of bereavement, as honest as any I have ever read. McElhone might not be as self-consciously erudite as Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking, nor does she seek to anatomise the process of grieving, as CS Lewis did in A Grief Observed, but her greatest strength is her lack of style: she gets straight to the point; she tells us how it is.

04/07/2010

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The Sunday Times

Daisy Goodwin

Unlike A Grief Observed [CS Lewis' memoir of bereavement], McElhone’s book is raw and impressionistic — she doesn’t edit out inconsistencies and repetitions. But like Lewis’s book it will surely be recommended to the recently bereaved — it is a masterclass in graceful endurance.

11/07/2010

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The Daily Mail

Jane Shilling

[A] beautifully written book… Separated from self-knowledge, confession simply feeds an appetite for sensation. But McElhone's little book, though painfully honest, is far more than a simple diary of bereavement. Written with remarkable wisdom, grace and courage, it is a portrait of a woman fighting to reconcile death with life, and managing to do exactly that.

07/07/2010

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