Story of personal loss raw but uplifting

April 27, 2007

Dear Charlie, by Reg Thompson (John Murray, $39.99):

This moving family memoir gives the reader a glimpse into the grief of a father as he comes to terms with the ultimate loss for any parent: the loss of a child.

Reg Thompson’s daughter Charlotte, known as Charlie, died with her friend Livvy in December 2005 when they were hit by a train while crossing the tracks. A month after her death, Charlie’s dad begins writing letters to his daughter.

The letters, both honest and heart-breaking, allow him to feel like she is still there, that they can still communicate. They make Charlie a real person for anyone who didn’t know her, painting a protrait of a beautiful, loving and loved daughter.

They also show a family struggling to get on with life after the tragedy.

The letters are raw and at times uncomfortable to read because they are so personal and emotional.

However, they are also uplifting enough to keep you wanting to read the next page.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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