BOOK REIVEW: Bedtime Story by Chloe Hooper

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Let me tell you a story…

When Chloe Hooper’s partner is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive illness, she has to find a way to tell their two young sons.

By instinct, she turns to the bookshelf. Can the news be broken as a bedtime tale? Is there a perfect book to prepare children for loss? Hooper embarks on a quest to find what practical lessons children’s literature—with its innocent orphans and evil adults, magic, monsters and anthropomorphic animals—can teach about grief and resilience in real life.

As she discovers, ‘the right words are an incantation, a spell of hope for the future.’ From the Brothers Grimm to Frances Hodgson Burnett and Tolkien and Dahl—all of whom suffered childhood bereavements—she follows the breadcrumbs of the world’s favourite authors, searching for the deep wisdom in their books and lives.

Both memoir and manual, Bedtime Story is stunningly illustrated by the New York Times award-winning Anna Walker. In an age of worldwide uncertainty, here is a profound and moving exploration of the dark and light of storytelling.

My Thoughts:

A deeply personal and heartrending memoir which explores grief, the fear of loss, and the power of bedtime stories to teach us how to navigate the dark night of the soul. When Chloe Hooper’s partner is diagnosed with a dangerous illness, she does not know how to explain to their sons the possibility of their father’s death. She turns for consolation to the great children’s books of the past, and in doing so explores many of the books that have been my own childhood’s touchstone stories – the Brothers Grimm, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Frances Hodgson Burnett. The result is extraordinary, and this is one of my favourite books of the year. 

Kate Forsyth
Written by

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