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A Song Inside

4.91  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This is a story about love

'You are a song inside me now, a melody that stirs and bursts into life when I think of you.'

In this heart-breaking, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting memoir, she remembers her life with the boy and young man who enchanted and infuriated in equal measure. Sam saw colours where others saw grey. He made people feel alive. His unvanquishable
Published July 22nd 2020 by Retreat West Books
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Average rating 4.91  · 
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Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death is not a topic that we can hide from. No one will escape suffering a profound grief at some point but this awful experience transforms some lives much earlier, or more often, than others. If someone you know and care about faces the tragedy of losing a child when you have not done yourself, it can be incredibly difficult to comprehend what they are going through or know how to begin to express your concern. So Gill's book is an essential and deeply thought-provoking read for those of us in ...more
Emma Rowson
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve heard of some readers shying away from this book, because just as in life, the thought and theme of death creates a flurry of overwhelming emotions; fear, sadness and in many cases, a feeling of awkwardness. As a society we just don’t know how to deal with death, despite its eventual inevitability. Couple this with mental health – a subject which affects so many, and yet is still far too taboo for my liking – and this can easily perceived to be a difficult read.

And in places, it is. But it
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Song Inside is the heart-breaking memoir of Sam Roberts, by his grieving mother Gill Mann.

As a trained psychotherapist, Gill's ability to identify and articulate her experience of grief with such devastating honesty is so incredibly insightful for her readers. She does not shy away from the uncomfortable emotions felt from grief and loss. As someone who has personally experienced a family bereavement at a young age, the book became a salvage to help me introspectively process my own grief, and
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, a book comes along that takes your heart, your emotions, your preconceived ideas, your empathy and tumbles them all in front of your eyes in a mass of understandable appreciation.
A Song Inside by Gill Mann is such a book. This memoir is ultimately about love, and the incredible loss that comes with losing a child, a young man who occupied such a brief but brimful place in his family's world.
As a mother, I am in awe of Gill Mann's ability to write with such raw honesty about her son,
Jan Kaneen
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not sure where to start reviewing this wonderful, emotional book that's so brim-full everything I needed a couple of days to process the emotions it evoked in me before trying to write a review. Now I've reflected and taken a breath, this is what I think.

This book tells so many stories: the story of a beloved young man, a sometimes difficult, exuberant, highly intelligent young man who was a contradiction of everything infuriating and wonderful - who lived a turbulent, very brief life, latterly
Laura Besley
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In her beautiful memoir, 'A Song Inside' (Retreat West, July 2020), Gill Mann writes about the loss of her son, Sam, who died in 2014 while travelling in Thailand, something which fulfilled him, gave him purpose and brought him great joy. He was only 22.

Through journal entrees, flashbacks and letters to Sam, Mann delves into the deeply complicated relationship she had with her middle child, trying desperately to find answers to the question that constantly plagues her: Did I, as a mother, do en
Mandy Huggins
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Song Inside spills over with love, so that although Gill Mann’s memoir about her son is filled with heartbreak, denial, grief and anger, it is nevertheless imbued with inspiration and hope. The story of Sam’s brief and turbulent life is told partly through diary entries, partly as a journey into the family’s past and partly as a conversation with Sam, a young man tragically unaware of his own devastating and destructive illness. Sam burns brightly throughout, full of contradiction and colour, ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a beautiful love story written by a Mother who at times struggled to make sense of her beloved son’s journey through adolescence into young adulthood with a backdrop of mental health issues, later to be diagnosed as schizophrenia. She writes with breathtaking honesty of the trials of their relationship. Her feelings of desperation and loss are portrayed in their rawness, and her worries of the effects on her two daughters are heart wrenching, yet the overwhelming theme is of a Mothe ...more
Hannah Harrington
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this beautiful book in three days. I cried, smiled, laughed, and cried and cried again. The emotions and events Gill describes are utterly sincere, raw, often heartbreaking; I could feel every one of them. Somehow she manages to articulate the journey of Sam's illness and subsequent death, and the impact it has had on her and her family in such a way that the reader travels it with her, and feels uplifted by the end. Thank you for sharing your story, Gill. ...more
Gayle Ridout
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When this arrived early afternoon, I immediately sat down and started to read....I didn't move for hours..I simply couldn't put it down. I cried, I smiled and my heart ached. A powerful account of a beautiful young man's journey with mental health, surrounded by the love of his family. Such an important issue that needs far greater awareness, investment and support. A must buy and a must read.
Richard Meares
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a fine and very well written book, full of lessons about relationships, honesty and love.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking and raw ... enjoyed this book 💖
Elina R
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brave, beautiful and heartbreaking true story. Not many people can be so open and honest about difficulties within family life, with their son, while at the same time always portraying the deep and unconditional love a parent has for their child regardless of the chaos and trauma caused by schizophrenia. To share the true side of what it's like for a family and a their young son with gradually deteriorating mental health will no doubt be very helpful to others, who might be worrying or ex ...more
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Gill Mann has always loved writing but has only recently considered publishing her work. She has had a long and varied career, starting her working life as a solicitor and becoming a partner in a law firm.

​In her early forties she re-trained as a professional photographer, becoming an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, before deciding to return to university when she was in her late fort

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“I feel a sharp stab of regret as I remember that I can’t share anything with him anymore.” 2 likes
“I feel a hardness developing
around the softer parts
of me, something brittle
that won't let me cry. I don't
want to be brittle
but I don't want to feel
the pain either.”
More quotes…