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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute
Dr Dannie Abse has written a moving tribute to his departed beloved partner after 50 years. As a retired psychiatrist I found his self-assessment of his bereaved state deeply touching, particularly because I and my wife have been together nigh on sixty years in a loving companionship too. A reason for reading this book was my anticipation how I might cope if my wife...
Published on 14 Oct 2008 by Henry J. Blackmore

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy reading.
Have had it for weeks and still trying to plough through it.
Not as good as I thought it would be.
Published 20 months ago by Magpie


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute, 14 Oct 2008
By 
Henry J. Blackmore (Western Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Presence (Hardcover)
Dr Dannie Abse has written a moving tribute to his departed beloved partner after 50 years. As a retired psychiatrist I found his self-assessment of his bereaved state deeply touching, particularly because I and my wife have been together nigh on sixty years in a loving companionship too. A reason for reading this book was my anticipation how I might cope if my wife predeceases me and I am left, like Dr Abse, musing over wonderful memories. I liked the way he juxtaposed the present with the past in his diary, and the appropriate, often amusing, anecdotes interspersed throughout. My belated sincere condolences and my hope that his loss has been alleviated by writing and sharing with others. PS: I must sadly confess to being a poetry-philistine, but I'm sure the "poetry-enamoured" will appreciate Dr Abse's poems.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult territory, 2 July 2009
This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
This moving journal charts Abse's reactions during the year after he lost his wife, Joan, in a traffic accident. Having lost my daughter in a traffic accident nearly a year ago I found it comforting to read his words - it made me realise that the range of feelings I have are not unique: that I am not mad ... but that the grief one feels when an innocent loved one is killed in this way is complex and long-lasting. He is an eloquent guide to this difficult territory ... at times, so 'eloquent' that I found myself having to consult the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in order to understand some of his words - and this, despite having a master's degree in English! However, maybe such a difficult journey needs difficult language to try to explain things at times.

The journal also includes various poems - both by Abse and other writers -that shed light on his feelings.

This is a moving book - but it is not unremittingly bleak: at times it will make the reader laugh as well as cry. Whilst I obviously found it struck a special chord for me, I don't feel that you have to be grief-stricken in order to appreciate Abse's evocation of his wife's presence and the charting of his journey through the year following her death ... indeed, it would be foolish to make such an assumption, just as it would to make the assumption that a reader has to be old and have ungrateful children in order to appreciate 'King Lear'!

Abse is famous as a poet, but he is a fine writer of prose too, as this journal attests. I recommend the book - buy it - you won't be disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute to lost love, 18 July 2009
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
Dannie Abse lost his beloved wife Joan in a car accident in which he survived. Here he charts his progress in a kind of diary/memoir of the year after her death.

It is gentle, emotional without being sentimental and full of wonderful poems (not just his own) and quotations from which he has found strength or the perfect way to express his feelings.

This is not just a book about grief, it is a book which celebrates and reveres a deep and lasting love for another human being, one which shaped his life and understanding. His attempts to navigate life without that presence is truly touching.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now part of my life, 10 Nov 2009
By 
B. Handcock (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
Although this is a book about pain and loss, it is somehow consoling and a book I return to. It contains life at its best and at its worst, funny and tragic. His marriage is something to envy. Buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true life, 19 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Presence (Kindle Edition)
moving story, which I bought to help with my bereavement . Makes you realise that your loss is happening to other people too
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Presence - a moving book partly dealing with bereavement, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
I love the book - hence buying it to pass on to a very dear friend. ~The condition is no worse than
should be expected for a well-read book of this age;
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A diary worth reading, 21 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
This book, written as a diary, covers all aspects of grief experienced when you lose someone close. I did find some of the poetry a little heavy going at times but this was my personal view and did not detract from the essence of the book. I also found the reverting back in time added to the diary experience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grieving, 16 July 2009
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
This book would provide thought provoking and comfort councelling for anyone who has lost a loved one
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, 4 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
Fast delivery and excellent condition. Unfortunately having got through 50 pages of the book, it is not quite what I was expecting and I am finding it boring.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy reading., 22 April 2013
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This review is from: The Presence (Paperback)
Have had it for weeks and still trying to plough through it.
Not as good as I thought it would be.
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The Presence
The Presence by Dannie Abse (Paperback - 2 Oct 2008)
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