A Manual for Heartache: review

Bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink writes a new guide to starting living again after grief


A Manual for Heartache: review

When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy, the story of which she told so memorably in the 2016 bestseller The Last Act of Love (Pan Macmillan, £5.99). 

In A Manual for Heartache (Pan Macmillan, £10) she describes how she learned to live with grief and loss, and to find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming, and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope. 

This is a moving, warm and uplifting book that offers solidarity and comfort to anyone going through a painful time, whatever it might be. It is a book that will help to soothe an aching heart and assure its readers that they’re not alone.

‘Perhaps heartbreak is what happens on impact, and heartache is what we are left with as time passes,’ Rentzenbrink says. In her first book she explored how to live with the ‘content’ of this heartache. But her second book takes a deeper look at this, examining the ‘process’. ‘What would have been useful for me to know as I navigated these states?’ she asks.

‘I hope that the lessons from along the way might be useful to someone, no matter what their situation might be. This is the book I wish I’d had when the worst happened, full of the advice I wish I’d been given,’ she explains. Honest and insightful, the book is a unique guide to navigating grief and loss.

Manual for Heartache (Pan Macmillan, £10) is out now. Find out more here.

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