A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink

A Manual for Heartache

The wise and inspiring new book from the bestselling author of The Last Act of Love.When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy. In A Manual for Heartache she describes how she learnt to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelm...

Title:A Manual for Heartache
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover

A Manual for Heartache Reviews

  • Rebecca Foster
    Jul 16, 2017

    This is a follow-up to Rentzenbrink’s memoir,

    , which was about the accident that left her brother in a vegetative state for eight years and the legal battle she and her parents fought to be able to end his life. Unfortunately, the first quarter of this book contains pretty generic, clichéd advice for people who have been through family tragedy, illness or some other hardship. It’s when Rentzenbrink makes things personal, talking about her own struggles with PTSD and de

    This is a follow-up to Rentzenbrink’s memoir,

    , which was about the accident that left her brother in a vegetative state for eight years and the legal battle she and her parents fought to be able to end his life. Unfortunately, the first quarter of this book contains pretty generic, clichéd advice for people who have been through family tragedy, illness or some other hardship. It’s when Rentzenbrink makes things personal, talking about her own struggles with PTSD and depression and the strategies that have helped her over the years, that the book improves, and it maintains a pretty high standard throughout. Although you wouldn’t really call anything in here groundbreaking, it’s a slim and accessible volume that I could see being helpful for anyone who’s grieving, even someone who’s not usually a reader or has a short attention span.

    “Experiencing grief for the first time is like the dark twin of falling in love. It feels a bit crazy, and we don’t think anyone has ever felt exactly as we do. But of course they have.”

    “We don’t need to be unbroken. Our first step is simply to stop trying to hide our scars. Heartache is human.”

  • Alice
    Jan 28, 2017

    It's not always easy to tell our stories. Sometimes they're complicated and don't fit into a neat, straightforward narrative. Sometimes we're scared we won't be believed or understood. Sometimes we're too ashamed. Often we don't realise that we are not the only one feeling the way we do, or who has experienced things that seem too dark and messy to put into words. The strange thing is that just acknowledging all of this can come as a relief, and I felt that relief as I read the opening chapter o

    It's not always easy to tell our stories. Sometimes they're complicated and don't fit into a neat, straightforward narrative. Sometimes we're scared we won't be believed or understood. Sometimes we're too ashamed. Often we don't realise that we are not the only one feeling the way we do, or who has experienced things that seem too dark and messy to put into words. The strange thing is that just acknowledging all of this can come as a relief, and I felt that relief as I read the opening chapter of A Manual for Heartache.

    A Manual for Heartache is a book that could change the life of someone whose hands it finds its way into at the right moment. I wish I could go back and give it to my younger self at various points in my own life. A copy should be issued to every teenager in school.

    It's an easy book to read because it has the clarity and power of truth. It doesn't peddle bullshit solutions but an acceptance that life can be brutally, devastatingly hard at times, and without selling snake oil quick fixes it provides sound suggestions and strategies for navigating the tides of grief, trauma, anxiety and depression. It also delivers that most important of messages: You are not alone.

    Declaration of interest: I received a review copy of this book from my publisher. This has not influenced my opinion - I receive lots of books from publishers and only read or review the ones I choose.

  • Leilah Skelton
    Feb 11, 2017

    It is hard to articulate feelings, especially when we're consumed by them or see that they're weighing heavily on the people we love. For anyone who has ever been lost for words there is this little book. Cathy Rentzenbrink has given us something powerful, tender, and completely disarming here. 'A Manual for Heartache' it may be, but it also feels like a survival guide for life.

    Cathy’s affecting debut, 'The Last Act of Love', explored a personal grief. Here, she has distilled numerous fraught y

    It is hard to articulate feelings, especially when we're consumed by them or see that they're weighing heavily on the people we love. For anyone who has ever been lost for words there is this little book. Cathy Rentzenbrink has given us something powerful, tender, and completely disarming here. 'A Manual for Heartache' it may be, but it also feels like a survival guide for life.

    Cathy’s affecting debut, 'The Last Act of Love', explored a personal grief. Here, she has distilled numerous fraught years into easily digestible plain-speak to offer us guidance through our own. This is not a how-to, or a miracle fix; it is comforting advice borne out of years of seeking her own way through. It cherry-picks its philosophy from a broad tree. Elements of religion here and literature there, of customs from another time – even the wisdom of Harry Potter is added to the mix. The shorter, easily digestible nature of this book reminds me very much of Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ in that it feels designed to be accessible to all, including those at their least able to absorb the written word.

    There were moments here when I felt hugged through the pages and moments when I felt exposed for the messy, fragile being that I am. Still, for every emotional bruise that has been gently prodded by this book, I cannot recommend it highly enough. One to read and return to, one to lean on and loan out. A necessary book.

  • Ruth Brookes
    Feb 23, 2017

    Like warm, wise advise from a good friend, this is a great read. Bringing on occasions both a smile of recognition and tears to my eyes, I found it to be helpful and simply kind. Recommended!

  • Anne
    Jun 03, 2017

    Life hurts .... yes, it does. Yes, it bloody well does, and often. Cathy Rentzenbrink begins her book with those two words, and wonders why we are surprised that life hurts us. I like to think we are constantly surprised each time life takes a great big bite out of us because, on the whole, we want to believe that life it great, and fun and full of wonderful things. And, yes, it is, but when it decides to turn against us, it hurts so much, and that hurt is often overwhelming, and hard to deal wi

    Life hurts .... yes, it does. Yes, it bloody well does, and often. Cathy Rentzenbrink begins her book with those two words, and wonders why we are surprised that life hurts us. I like to think we are constantly surprised each time life takes a great big bite out of us because, on the whole, we want to believe that life it great, and fun and full of wonderful things. And, yes, it is, but when it decides to turn against us, it hurts so much, and that hurt is often overwhelming, and hard to deal with. It's often difficult to believe that life will ever be pain free again.

    My copy of A Manual for Heartache is full of turned-down page corners; marking some wonderful and wise words that I am determined to remember when life begins to feel sore. When Cathy Rentzenbrink published her first book; The Last Act of Love, she exposed her inner-most feelings, she was so brutally honest about how her brother's death affected her, her words within that book have stayed with me for the two years since I read it.

    Writing that book didn't heal the author, or take away all of the pain. She's frankly honest within the pages of this latest book about her depression, and how it can floor her for days. She's also done a wonderful thing by sharing her own coping strategies here for other people. Those of us who have experienced personal heartbreak can only benefit from reading A Manual for Heartache, a book that the author herself describes as "a verbal cuddle, or a loving message in a bottle - tossed into the sea to wash up at the feet of someone in need."

    Although this book is short and slim (and very beautifully presented), it is absolutely packed full of down to earth wisdom. Cathy Rentzenbrink's understanding of the human psyche is not the result of years of psychological study, it is down to her truly empathic nature. She realises that some people find it very difficult to talk to someone who is going through heartbreak, she doesn't criticise but she offers solutions. She offers ways of making sure that we can truly care for someone in crisis without being patronising, or frightened ... but by being human, and kind and true.

    I really do urge everyone to buy a copy of this book, read it and keep it. Every single one of us will find something in there that will help us, at some point in our life. If you are one of the 'one in four' who have a mental illness; if you lose a loved one, there is something to help you. It doesn't matter if your heartache is personal to you, or is the result of some far flung politician's decision, or due to a terrible story you saw on the news. The author talks about how feeling powerless doesn't mean that we can't do little things to make things feel better, and for me, this was the part of the book that had most effect. As I watch Question Time, or hear Trump's latest speech and feel my heart aching for our future, I will write down five good things about life, or eat cheese on toast, or kiss my husband, and hope that those small, good things will lessen the pain.

    A Manual for Heartache is required reading, it is uplifting and wise and truly wonderful.

  • Lindsay
    Mar 25, 2017

    A Manual for Heartache is a wonderful read, because it is like having a kind, comforting and compassionate friend in book form, one who listens with understanding and without judgment. I am so very grateful to the author for writing this book, for sharing her experiences and her highs and lows, for writing so honestly and frankly about pain, loss, depression and the struggle to get back up and continue on. It's a beautiful book too in terms of how it has been put together, with decent sized font

    A Manual for Heartache is a wonderful read, because it is like having a kind, comforting and compassionate friend in book form, one who listens with understanding and without judgment. I am so very grateful to the author for writing this book, for sharing her experiences and her highs and lows, for writing so honestly and frankly about pain, loss, depression and the struggle to get back up and continue on. It's a beautiful book too in terms of how it has been put together, with decent sized font and short sections, which is often so much easier to read for someone who is struggling. I feel it is one that I will return to many times, to re-read, especially some of the sentences and passages which I've marked and tabbed, to revisit the wise advice and comfort which they contain.

  • Neeshma Nazar Ayyaril
    May 13, 2017

    Firstly , i wanna say thank you...

    Thank you Cathy for this gift which is dedicated to that one person out of four.

    Publishing this takes such a courage and you really are a survivor.

    I used this book as a guide to my wandering mind and O boy... it helped.

    and surely i WILL reread this....

    I Highly Recommend this book to everyone who thinks that they are broken

    or sensitive. The pain that is felt by a kid who lost his toys and a king who lost his kingdom is the same....someone told me this.. and i

    Firstly , i wanna say thank you...

    Thank you Cathy for this gift which is dedicated to that one person out of four.

    Publishing this takes such a courage and you really are a survivor.

    I used this book as a guide to my wandering mind and O boy... it helped.

    and surely i WILL reread this....

    I Highly Recommend this book to everyone who thinks that they are broken

    or sensitive. The pain that is felt by a kid who lost his toys and a king who lost his kingdom is the same....someone told me this.. and i think it is true.

  • Shahad takleef
    Jul 08, 2017

    This book was everything I needed in few pages .

    It felt like a cozy cuddle .

Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.