Pub Date 27 Mar 2017
Australia's bravest and most honest writer explores the devastating aftermath of her elderly mother's decision to end her own life.
Nikki Gemmell's world changed forever in October 2015 when the body of her elderly mother was found and it became clear she had decided to end her own life. After the immediate shock and devastation came the guilt and the horror, for Nikki, her family, relatives and friends. No note was left, so the questions that Elayn's death raised were endless. Was the decision an act of independence or the very opposite? Was it a desperate act driven by hopelessness and anger, or was her euthanasia a reasoned act of empowerment?
After is the story of Elayn Gemmell - and the often difficult, prickly relationship between mothers and daughters, and how that changes over time. As anguished as it truthful, as powerful as it is profound, After is about life, death, elderly parents, mothers and daughters, hurt and healing, and about how little, sometimes, we know the ones we love the most.
A deeply intimate, fiercely beautiful, blazingly bold and important book.
'A bold work of nonfiction ... a work that will raise questions and start conversations' Bookseller + Publisher 'Eloquent and shatteringly honest ... Although Gemmell's pain is raw, her prose is polished ... [and] rich with metaphor, symbolism and imagery. The impact is cumulative and powerfully affecting, at times almost overwhelming. Gemmell's message is universal, heartfelt and clear: fix rifts before it is too late, before relationships are shattered like fragile vessels. Find forgiveness and compassion. Mend what is broken with any available glue. Understand the isolating effects of infirmity and talk about pain management. Love unconditionally before it is too late.' Sydney Morning Herald ?'Compassion, humanity and love shines through every page' Caroline Overington