Wednesday 22 July 2020

Once More We Saw Stars @Jayson_Greene #OnceMoreWeSawStars @HodderBooks #BookReview

Two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting chatting with her grandmother on a park bench in New York when a brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead and strikes her unconscious. As she is rushed to hospital in the hours before her death Once More We Stars leads us into the unimaginable.
Her father Jayson and mother Stacy begin a painful journey that is as much about hope and healing as it is grief and loss. Even in the midst of his ordeal, Jayson recognises that there will be a life for him beyond it - if he can only continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems un-survivable. With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, he captures the fragility of life and the absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love.
This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation - and a book that will change the way you look at the world.

Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene was published in hardback in May last year by Hodder. The paperback edition will be published in January next year.

This is an incredibly difficult book to read, and to review. It is a true account of how two-year-old Greta Greene was fatally injured and later died. She was sitting on a bench with her grandmother when a piece of masonry fell on her.  It is a tragic and heartbreaking tale, and Greta's father Jayson has produced a beautifully written book that tells of how he and his wife Stacey dealt with their grief and also allows the reader to get to know Greta.

Jayson and his wife Stacy have endured what no parent should ever have to face. Their much loved and cherished Greta was the centre of their lives, and her death left a gaping hole.

The author allows his readers to see the turmoil of emotions that they experienced. The terrible anguish and grief; the guilt, the blame and the anger. There is no holding back here and Jayson and Stacy tried out many ways to deal with this.
It could be said that it's all a little 'way out', or 'hippy', but these were the choice of the parents and nobody has any right to judge their decisions. Some things brought some relief, some things really were not for them. They experienced a whole range of people; often those in similar positions, but nobody is ever the 'same'. Everyone reacts in a different way, according to their own beliefs, their own upbringing and their own lifestyle and these two people did everything that they could to heal themselves, whilst still remembering Greta.

It's not easy to read, there were times when I had to put it aside for days, but I needed to know that they got through, and they did, in their own way.

Written with an honest and passion that is heart wrenching at times, Once More We Saw Stars is a tribute to Greta, and to her parents.

JAYSON GREENE is a contributing writer and former senior editor at Pitchfork. 

His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, and GQ, among other publications. 

This is his first book. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Twitter @Jayson_Greene

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