Clare Herbert's Reviews > This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart

This I Know by Susannah Conway
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Jul 19, 12

Read in June, 2012

I read Susannah Conway’s ‘This I Know: Notes on Unravelling the Heart’ in one go, wrapped in my duvet, on a bright Sunday morning. I wanted to savour it more slowly, but I just couldn’t put it down. It’s a wonderful book; honest and gently didactic.

At it’s simplest this book could be categorized as a ‘grief memoir’. Susannah’s partner died suddenly in 2005 and this book chronicles how she healed. It’s a collection of ‘thoughts and theories’, insights and ideas. Each chapter ends with a short creative exercise and the book is illustrated with the author’s beautiful Polariods.

For me, it was much more than a ‘grief story’. It was about living an honest life in a world that rewards impostors. It’s about figuring out what the hell you’re doing, unearthing where you belong in the world and why you do what you do.

Given the subject matter, it should be dreary and depressing but Susannah writes with an incredible lightness of touch. Her style is straight-forward and sincere. Rather than boiling down human experience to a few snappy taglines, she respects the nuance and complexity of life.

Susannah’s special power is her honesty. She manages to reveal the pain and joy in her life without self-pity or self-indulgence. By sharing her authentic experience, she helps us feel less alone. Equal parts endearing and inspiring, this book maps out one woman’s journey through creativity, grief and joy.

Highly recommended.
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message 1: by Kat (new) - added it

Kat I have just started this book and had to rip myself away from it at 3 AM! I loved what you wrote so much. I am a photographer and retired grief therapist who has experienced every kind of grief... I'm going to eat this book up with a spoon!


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