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If Not For You

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349144832

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 12th January 2023

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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‘Extraordinarily brave and tender… a book that sings with love and hope’ Dr Rachel Clarke
‘Profoundly moving’ The Times
‘Extraordinary’ Anita Rani, Woman’s Hour
‘Full of strength and hope’ Kate Mosse
‘Tender, heart-breaking and astonishingly eloquent’ Evening Standard
‘The most beautiful thing I have ever read’ Tom Bradby

‘If I were to look closely at the jagged edges of my fragmented heart, I’m sure I’d see that some spaces now shine with gold. And that is what he left for me.’

On the 17th November 2019, Grey Atticus Fox was born, nine weeks early, to Georgie and Mike in a Kent Hospital.

Heart-wrenching, cathartic, life-affirming, this is her account of the twenty-one days they had together, and its aftermath – the search to make sense of unimaginable loss. It bears witness to both the confusion and the clarity that accompany great pain, and stands as a testament to empathy, care and humanity when life is at its hardest.

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Reviews

The warmest, most beautiful book on love you'll read this year... by turns funny, observant, deeply moving, and always immensely readable... an absolute must-read, whatever your experience of loss... an extraordinary gift of a book by a truly brilliant writer
Kat Brown
I finished reading this yesterday in a welter of emotions and not a few tears. I think that this is an amazing story, delicately but powerfully told. Georgina's observations of people, places and events ring so true - they are so often searingly accurate and also so wonderfully compassionate. Despite what could be an inexorably sad story I'm interested that the words I wrote down as I read it are all positive: optimism / hope / strength / power / love. It is my firm belief that immortality is being remembered by those who loved us and Greyman undoubtedly will continue to be remembered and celebrated.
Dr Richard Shepherd
An amazing story of human kindness... I've got huge admiration for Georgie for writing the book that no one would ever want to write, for having the courage to tell a difficult story and the talent to tell it beautifully
Marina Fogle
[Lucas's] valuable story is important not just for its own sake; it could help us to speak more, and better, about an unfathomable experience that too many parents endure
TLS
An extraordinary read... This tender, exquisite memoir explores devastating loss and grief, yes, but most of all it is a book about the surpassing, redemptive power of love... I cannot stop thinking about it
Lucy Foley
Extraordinary... earth-shattering... so full of love
Anita Rani, Woman’s Hour
[If Not For You] might be one of the most beautiful and inspiring things you'll read... Tender, heart-breaking and astonishingly eloquent, its pages flow with love, hope and sometimes even laughter
Evening Standard Magazine
Georgie Lucas writes superbly with her spare, and unsentimental prose
Miriam Stoppard
This quietly devastating account of birth, pain and loss is gripping. As I read, I was lost in the quiet, tense atmosphere of Grey's story. Georgina Lucas portrays the world of the NICU in minute, often poetic detail, finding warmth and humour when life seems bleakest. It is an unflinching and beautiful book, ending on a note of light and love in a way that should inspire us all.
Sophie Kinsella
It is heartbreaking and beautiful
Sophie Ellis Bextor
Wow. That has been a heart-wrenching few hours' reading - difficult to read with streaming eyes! It's an incredibly sad but in some ways, also a truly beautiful story. It is heart-breaking in the sense of loss and tragedy, but also uplifting in the way the love sings from each page. Really quite extraordinary.
John Nichol
Beautifully written, searingly honest and profoundly uplifting, this is a book to remind us what is most important in life; a book for anyone who has suffered a loss, or ever will... In short, it is a book for everyone
Katherine Webb
I read this extraordinary book in a day and although a hugely emotional story, it is told with such love and humility that somehow it manages to create a feeling of hope amongst the heartbreak... If Not For You is a reminder to appreciate the love we can find through experiences we never imagined would be part of our story
Pippa Vosper
In this brave, unflinching book Lucas looks back with love and hope at the 21 days of life granted to her baby son, who was born nine weeks premature
The i
I was moved to tears and transported to a place no one ever wants to imagine, but it also reminded me about what really matters, it is a book filled with so much more than sadness, it wrapped me in warmth and so much love
Izzy Judd
Profoundly moving
The Times
Heart-breaking, beautiful, important, full of integrity, powerful and honest, inspiring and full of the wonder of women and love... In bits but also full of admiration... Georgie is a wonderful writer, clear and honest, but never sentimental, and she lets all the other people going through this terrible time with her shine as well... Full of strength and hope, and I've no doubt will both help many and also give comfort to other mothers & fathers who have lost a child
Kate Mosse
I just finished Georgie's book, and am completely shattered by the searing grief and pain which she was able to convey to me, the reader. Beautifully written, it was hard enough to relive with you all the days leading up to Grey's death, then the gorgeously cathartic family funeral lulls one into feeling somewhat healed. Only to be completely shattered by the almost unbearable piercing pain and grief of their loss, so well expressed that I am totally in awe of the way that you and Mindy and all the family went through this pain together, and found beauty and profound gifts to take away. Well done Georgie, I think it will bring solace and help to anyone going through this and give them a primer on how to be present and honest with themselves and those who love them. Because this honesty becomes a gift.
Dr Rita Lynn
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read; a heart-breaking account of a tragic death that is also a profound, lyrical, sometimes funny and ultimately joyful meditation on the meaning of life. The book of the year, perhaps the decade.
Tom Bradby
Incredibly moving and impeccably written... The prose is understated and unsentimental, and all the more powerful for it... It made me weep and yet somehow left me uplifted... Above all, it made me think about what it truly means to be a parent and to love unselfishly
Jennie Agg
[A] heart-wrenching and hopeful book... about the redeeming power of love... A meditation on the meaning of life
Sunday Post
The most beautiful book I've read this year... Heart-wrenching, hopeful, brave and profound... Georgie's words made me cry and laugh out loud at moments
Hannah Barrett
Harrowing... If anyone is going through this trauma in the current socially distanced hospitals, this book will be in lieu of all those hugs... A message from one mother to another, reminding them they are not alone
Mail on Sunday