The World Looks Different Now

A Memoir of Suicide, Faith, and Family

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Pub Date 14 Jul 2020 | Archive Date 07 Jul 2020

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Description

On a glorious, if blisteringly hot, Saturday in August 2010, Margaret Thomson’s world is suddenly shattered by the incomprehensible news that her twenty-two-year-old son, a medic in the army, has taken his life.

In a deep state of shock, Thomson and her husband immediately travel to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where their son Kieran was stationed, in an effort to assist their daughter-in-law. Upon their arrival, though, the couple find themselves plunged into a labyrinthine and, at times, seemingly bizarre world of military rules and regulations.

Eventually, after the funeral and the memorial services are over, an even more challenging journey—emotionally as well as geographically—ensues, especially for Margaret, who, as a former journalist, is determined to find out more about the circumstances surrounding her son’s death, no matter how high the cost.

As she enters her second year of grieving, Thomson receives an unexpected invitation from an unlikely source—the army, which she’s often blamed in many ways, whether fairly or not, for her son’s death. Seizing upon this opportunity, Thomson finds that her perspective is changed—literally—and that as a result the world does indeed look different now.

On a glorious, if blisteringly hot, Saturday in August 2010, Margaret Thomson’s world is suddenly shattered by the incomprehensible news that her twenty-two-year-old son, a medic in the army, has...


Advance Praise

“A beautifully written and harrowing tale of a mother coming to terms with her son's devastating suicide. The World Looks Different Now offers comfort and companionship to other parents grieving this unbearable loss.”

―Sarah Neustadter, PhD, author of Love You Like the Sky


“Margaret Thomson has achieved the near-impossible by looking grief right in the eye and finding a story that illuminates us on the toughest topic there is. With grace, a light touch, and a great deal of truth, she moves us past the plot of her tale of loss and into a place of knowing.”

―Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life


“Margaret Thomson’s raw and intimate and eventually heartwarming story shows she has learned to survive. . . . I recommend The World Looks Different Now to other suicide survivors and parents who have lost their children by any means.”

―Madeline Sharples, author of Leaving the Hall Light On


“This is a powerful book―Thomson’s emotions crackle off the page. Survivors of suicide loss will find communion in her grief, and solace in her healing.”

―Kelley Clink, author of A Different Kind of Same


“In this timeless memoir of tragic loss and exploration, author Margaret Thomson pulls back the curtain on life-altering experiences with courage and determination so that what wasn’t seen . . . can be seen. Absolutely find a way to weave this riveting story into your life and heart.”

―D.A. (Daisy) Hickman, author of The Silence of Morning: A Memoir of Time Undone

“A beautifully written and harrowing tale of a mother coming to terms with her son's devastating suicide. The World Looks Different Now offers comfort and companionship to other parents grieving this...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781631526930
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. I have heard about soldiers committing suicide but Margaret Thomson shares her story of her son Kieran who was twenty-two-years-old and a medic in the army, who took his life.
There was a lot I didn't realize before reading this book. Margaret Thomson shared her story and shined a light on many issues that people face today. It is a story that I wished never happened but it is a story that happens way too often so bringing awareness might make a difference. After reading the book I understand more and I understand the title, The World Looks Different Now. Not having been through what she and her family went through, the world looks different now to me because I am more aware of what goes on.

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So touching.

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

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Wow, what a rollercoaster of emotions I experienced reading this! A very poignant book written in the eyes of a grieving mother of a son who committed suicide. No emotion or topic was forbidden when writing this, it was honest and authentic. I have not experienced the loss of a child, however being a mother, through the eyes of the author I could relate to her response.

Kieren, the eldest child of a family presents with many challenges that I can relate to, as one of my daughters also struggled through school and went undiagnosed for years with issues that definitely impacted her ability to learn. The frustration Margaret expresses in regards to this, I get it. As a parent you just want the very best for your children. The saying, 'A parent is only as happy as their saddest child', is so apt. Parenting is the hardest and most challenging 'job' we are blessed with, in fact it is a privilege to be blessed with children, but sometimes it would be so easy to pull up stumps and say enough! Margaret and her husband did anything but this and this novel demonstrates the unwavering love and dedication they had to try and do the very best for their son.

Unfortunately, even with all these factors, the unfortunate suicide of Kieren left many unanswered questions as I imagine suicide would do. Margaret gives a raw and honest account of her experience going through the grief and processing of her son's death.

Heart wrenching yet so utterly honest, I recommend this book whole heartedly. I will give a warning that obviously due to the content, it may trigger some people, but i believe that this would be understandable and people are going into this book knowing the content is surrounding a suicide.

I believe this has also given me an insight to loss that will give me a better understanding on how I might possibly handle a similar situation should it ever arise. Thanks for your bravery in putting this on paper!

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