Death. It’s not the easiest of subjects to write about. But while it may be an uncomfortable topic this book is beautiful and raw and truly one to read.
“One Hundred and Fifty-Two Days” is written as a semi-autobiographical piece in the first person with a unique style and rhythm so that although it centres on a subject that’s uncomfortable, it’s also uniquely comforting and familiar to those of us who have lost someone close. We follow the young Giles and take an uncomfortable glimpse into the days leading up to his mother’s death and experience his reactions and frustrations as those nearest to him deal with their own demons and fears, leaving this frightened young boy to manage his pain by himself.
Having dealt with grief in all its forms both professionally and personally, I was tentative but also drawn to experience this story through his eyes as no one’s grief manifests itself in the same way. This book has a beautiful and poetic style which enables the reader to float through the stages of grief that this small and fragile child experienced and his sense of isolation and fears are palpable. It’s a raw and powerful account that draws the reader in so completely that by the end of the journey you have laughed and wept and felt the release of control so necessary for grief to process.
Death is not an easy subject to write about but this is a story that will touch us all and Giles’s honest portrayal is a hopeful look at how we process and begin to heal after such great loss.