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It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss
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It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  459 ratings  ·  93 reviews
On the 24th of February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards, he explained ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 24th 2011
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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John Davis
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An amazing read. I found this book to be very different as it is written 'to' her deceased husband as well as interspersed with their letters and emails. Very interesting and a page turner. Be careful of the negative reviews you read here or on Amazon as it seems more about what the readers would or wouldn't do if this happened to them. To me that is not the point of a book review. Anyway, this book was very well written and I highly recommend reading it. ...more
Lynne King
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I always find memoirs somewhat difficult to read. I want to read them but when I see someone opening their soul for everyone to read about their lives, I just feel embarrassed to a certain extent, and especially in the case of Stuart, who leaves Leila (Robyn) and her two children for another woman.

I just cannot understand how she could still love this man after the way he treated her. Stuart basically ruined many people's lives, and then to finally commit suicide, well that must have been the fi
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
To be honest....Amazing...but very hard to read. I have people in my family with bi-polar. The heart-wrenching agony that the family members go through are too close to me. I did ..however...learn about the disease through the eyes of Robyn...the wife. She was amazing in her love and selflessness for her husband...Stuart. Patience of a saint at times. I am not so sure I could do the same. I learned that one cannot help matter how much you love them ....unless that person WANTS the h ...more
Yianna Yiannacou
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!
From the moment the author approached me and asked me to review her memoir I knew I had to say yes. There is just something so personal about reading another persons memoir that will always stay with me.
As soon as I read the first page I was hooked and I knew that this book was going to go straight to my heart. The book begins with Robyn a wonderful housewife who has two beautiful young daughters and a husband that she would die for. It is so easy to get lost in ones perfect little world when n
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I first saw this book, I avoided it...I didn't want to read something sad...but after several days of seeing it on the top 100 free list, I decided to download it and maybe save it for later. Little did I know I'd be reading it in short order!

There is a large part of me that wishes this book was not a memoir, because what the author went through is so excruciatingly painful. No one should ever go through what she went through. I applaud her for taking the time to write this book so honestly
A couple months ago I was approached by the author Robyn who goes by the nom de plume Leila Summers. Usually I don't read books like this but after I read the summary I was convinced that I would have to read it.

A few days ago I finally got around to read it and I'm glad I did. Ever since finishing it though I've been struggling with how I should review it. I mean this isn't a work of's some one's life I'm reading about. In fact I don't even think I can properly put into words how I
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, awesome
Leila Summers has written a beautiful, heart wrenching biography of her marriage to Stuart, her husband of many years. Leila meets, falls head over heels in love, and marries Stuart. They have two beautiful girls, who remain the light of both of them. Somewhere in between paradise and purgatory, Leila begins to sense a change in her husband. A man who was so creative, driven by their mutual passion, and happy with their lives in Durban, suddenly seems out of place, sometimes overemotional, somet ...more
Michele Kallio
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
IT RAINS IN FEBRUARY is an incredibly moving memoir of a young wife's love and loss. Leila Summers tells the unbearably sad story of her husband's illness and suicide with tenderness and love. It is a difficult book to review but one I highly recommend be be read. IT RAINS IN FEBRUARY will take you on the rollercoaster ride that was Summer's life. Through emails she reveals her husband's illness and her unending support for him. It is a tale of loss but it is also a story of hope, for although h ...more
Lucinda Clarke
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m not surprised this book has won an award, it was brilliantly written. It also sent shivers down my spine as I was in Durban when it all took place and many of the scenes described were places I was familiar with. There were a lot of other parallels as well, but the lasting thought was the need to get more information out about personality disorders. The writer went through hoops to help her husband, she tried and tried over but she was fighting a battle it is almost imposs
Patricia Puddle
I started reading this book and though I don't have a lot of time to read these days, I couldn't put it down. The story is sad and had me hooked from the start. The author, Leila, (Robyn) was brave to write it and it must have been hard, though it probably helped with the healing process. It was quite frustrating in parts as you want to shake her for letting her husband treat her the way he did. Though he was suffering from depression, he was in love with another woman and kept telling her that ...more
Grace Peterson
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What is love? Is the warm fuzzies we feel while embracing our husband of 30 years under a moonlit sky? Is it opening a small, exquisitely wrapped package to find a diamond of commitment?

It Rains In February: A Wife’s Memoir of Love and Loss, written by Leila Summers, answers this question without even trying. It is the true-life account of one woman’s struggle to help her mentally ill husband.

Set in exotic South Africa, Leila and Stuart meet, fall headlong in love, get married and have two dau
MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov
Wow, this book was truly AMAZING! I read this book in one sitting which is rare for me(slow reader) but I couldn't find the strength to put it down. I found myself experiencing every heart-breaking moment with the character Robyn as she took me through her journey of life,love,loss,hope, and finally freedom.

Robyn a wife of two children finds out that her husband, Stuart of seven years(hope I'm correct) is having an affair and is dangerously in love with another women. Robyn's life is torn apart
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book reinforces my admiration of the strength that comes in the human form. Ms. Summers' recollection of events of such a horrible part of her life and then being able to put said events on paper is astounding. The mixture of a verbal account of occurrences with the letters and e-mails that accompany these occurrences is really well done. Ms. Summers puts us right into her shoes of both utter frustration well as complete and total dedication and caring. Even though the outcome is neve ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've only just started this book, but it's already heart-wrenching. With every paragraph, I find myself thinking, "This sounds like my life; such perfect love and tenderness, shattered by greed." It's a page-turner for sure.

Having finished this book, I since recommended it to a number of people. All the way until the end, I never wanted to put the book down. I thought about the characters when I was not reading. The ending was frustrating because the story of Robin's life is left somewhat unres
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
I discovered Leila Summers through goodreads, or more rightly, she discovered me. No matter. It is one of the happy serendipities of the universe that I should find this eloquent, gifted author. She has written quite a courageous book about the loss of her beloved husband. A heart-wrenching read and yet still a book of resolute hope and the power of love to triumph. I made the mistake of starting this book at 11 pm and finally forced myself to stop in the wee hours of the morning, 75% through. H ...more
Paola Graziani
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In the eight days I read this book, Leila's memoir was constantly on my mind. I experienced a variety of emotions such as disbelief, compassion, and admiration. Leila's strength and unconditional love are remarkable. But putting Stuart's needs before her own made me want to scream at times. I tried to imagine what it must be like to live with someone like Stuart when suicidal wishes are triggered by an obsession with another woman. I didn't succeed so I read the story through Leila's eyes.

The w
Tanya Puckett
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
After reading some negative reviews on amazon, I was concerned I might not like the wife in this book. Although I probably won't pass it along to most friends due to the dark subject matter, it was right up my alley. I really liked the book and empathized with the writer. I've always thought suicide was such a selfish act, but after reading this memoir, I'm seeing this man's choice in a different light. I love books that make you question your beliefs. This one was sad but captivating. ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, reviewed
With breathtaking emotional clarity and sensitivity author Leila Summers recalls her story of marriage and family life, and her beloved husband Stuart's decent into the madness that claimed his life. While this darkly written memoir: "It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss" (2012) we know from the beginning Stuart isn't going to make it. The depiction of his delusion and glitch of obsessional desire for another woman was unforgettable and hard to comprehend, we also know, this wa ...more
Dana Burgess
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Memoirs are not my favourite books to read. Very often, when I get review requests for them, I find a kind way to turn them down. When Leila Summers approached me asking if I would review her memoir, It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss I must have been having a particularly off day because I said yes. Thank goodness for that particularly off day.

It Rains in February is written from the point of view of the author in the form of a sort of letter to her late husband outlining th
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
It Rains in February, the story of author Leila Summers'journey with a severely depressed husband intent on ending his life is a compelling story. In some ways I felt like I was on a speeding train headed for a certain crash ahead, but with no way off. And no way to stop the train.

Sometimes there is nothing we can do.

Through sharing her thoughts, feelings, hopes, struggles, and desperate actions along this fateful journey to try to save her husband's life, Summers gives us all the great gift of
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A poignant memoir written by a woman for her two children to read when they are grown about their father's mental deterioration and suicide following an affair with another woman. Leila is compassionate throughout the story as she watches her husband's mind dissolve with his obsession with Amanda, one of their best friends.

I struggled with her inability to get mad at him, although there are times when she does. But she sees how much pain and agony he is in. Having a mental illness myself, I can
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
This is a gorgeously written and moving account of a family that is broken by the mental illness and subsequent suicide of the husband/father. It begins as a love letter to Stuart (the father/husband) and it shared intimate details of a young and passionate love. The book is written to Stuart, and it is completely heartbreaking. It is so beautiful and so sad, simultaneously.

The author does absolutely everything she can think of to prevent the death of her husband, and I mean everything, above a
Snoozie Suzie
This book annoyed, frustrated, and touched a chord with me in that I have undergone both the husband and wife's feelings and situations (the wife only to a certain degree as I have not had to deal with a loved one committing suicide).

I read this as part of a group read on GR and i felt and understanding for both the book, and myself in that I could see me in it.

I probably wouldn't have read this book if it hadn't been a group read as I would have thought it would have made me feel odd - in tha
Anthony Stancomb
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that blows you away. Written with extraordinary force and clarity , it carries you through the turmoil of the author’s life with a husband who was clearly lovable but hopelessly unhinged.
It is an amazing tour de force. It’s almost like an epic poem or a Norse saga in the manner that it is written. The reader is swirled up and down with the waves of the story – born up by the lyrical descriptions of how the author felt in the good times, and crashed down when the wave breaks, and she is hu
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn in from the first page - i love the way the author told her story. I also recognized myself on her pages, especially towards the end when she was talking about the healing involved from telling such a tale. I admire the author's strength and courage. She should be proud to have created this legacy for her daughters. They are very lucky to have her as a mother. I have already recommended it to several friends that I knew who could relate. Thank you for being brave.

Marianne Curtis
Chris Bullock
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thank you for sharing this incredible memoir. I can really empathise with all of your story, and although as a reader I could take a slightly detached view, I was overwhelmed by the emotion and strength of character in your writing.
I suspect that many people can relate to some aspects of your book and therefore will have a lot to learn from your experiences.
I commend you on your tenacity and ability.
Well written, well thought out, and well worth reading.
Thanks again.
Whistlers Mom
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What makes a book memorable? I read this book almost four years ago and have thought about it many times since then. Obviously, it touched a cord, even though I've never lost a loved one through suicide. This is the story of two intelligent, sensitive people who came together and produced two much-loved children. But, they didn't live happily ever after. Why not? What was missing?

Many people can write about a tragic event and tell their side of the story and engage the sympathies of the reader.
Rebecca Trotter
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
Before I had read half the book, I wanted Stuart to hurry up and kill himself; my reason for this was to release all the women in his life from the emotional torture he was putting them through. I hope this was not heartlessness on my part, but because I know I dodged this hellish bullet about 10 years ago.

Back to the book:

Ms. Summers writing is smooth and makes even the most preposterous situations seem almost rational; her writing also makes looking away, from all the emotional abuse being inf
June Collins
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leila Summers story is beautifully written. It is a sad story about unconditional love and a woman's strength. ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This was a very powerful book. At times very hard to read. Definitely a good read for someone who has a family member or friend who suffers from depression. Very sad yet an interesting book!
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Leila Summers is an author, coach and entrepreneur with a love for all things creative and human. She lives in South Africa with her two daughters and animal friends. As a book publishing and promotion coach, her forte is advising, inspiring, and assisting fellow writers and creatives to realize their full potential and authentically spread the word about their wonderful talents. Leila is also a H ...more

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