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The Iceberg: A Memoir Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014
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An exquisitely expressed portrait of three lives operating in the shadow of catastrophe... The miracle here is not only in Coutts coming through such an ordeal, but in finding the wherewithal to observe it, unpick its complex psychology, and commit it to paper. This is human trauma, profoundly and beautifully told. --Independent on Sunday
Extraordinary... Not quite like any other bereavement memoir... it reads like a huge juggernaut, its inevitable awful ending hurtling towards you at full speed from the first page... I defy anyone reading her account of their last Christmas together... not to be moved to tears. --Evening Standard
Readers should be warned that sharing such a grief as closely as this marvellous book compels one to do is painful... This is a book that clearly had to be written... And certainly it ought to be read by anyone who ever pauses to consider our mortality. --Diana Athill, Sunday Telegraph
The writing is lyrical, textured, perfectly paced; the sentences short so that we feel Coutts's moments of panic, her quickened heartbeat... [A] startlingly beautiful and inspiring pioneer text --Independent
She chooses her words with such beautiful scrupulousness, never twisting or turning the knife of her story to exact our pity or admiration; her thought is like sensation, her descriptions of feeling are often like notes for a visual work... Her book is a homage to an exceptional man; it's also the work of an exceptional woman artist, writing from the inside about the things women have always done: nursing, nurturing, loving. --Guardian
Hey - want to uncontrollably weep your eyes out? Read Marion Coutts describing her husband dying of a brain tumour. --@caitlinmoran
Marion Coutts has written a fierce love letter-cum-elegy in The Iceberg... This is far more than just another book about grief. --Marina Warner, Observer
The Iceberg is mesmerising, harrowing and radiant. There are times when to go on reading is almost unbearable, yet it is impossible to put it down. --Cressida Connolly, Daily Mail
It is a memoir quite unlike any other. It has the strength of an arrow: taut, spiked, quavering, working to its fatal conclusion... The Iceberg is an extraordinary story told in an extraordinary way. --The Sunday Times
Winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2015.
Beautifully written and full of unflinching truth, The Iceberg is a memoir which will leave an indelible mark on all who read it.
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The author and her husband have an indomitable spirit to keep their relationship and the family alive in the midst of his medical deterioration and the difficulties of treatment - something that comes more and more to the fore as the book progresses and the reader becomes more and more involved with their struggle.
It is hypnotic, emotional and comforting. The use of words is simple and eloquent. So many telling phrases both sad and funny sum up the process of watching someone you love die. The care of the doctors and nurses, the paperwork and the giving of drugs, changing the way you live, but becoming a new way.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone caring for someone who is terminally ill or who has recently lost someone.
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