If Not For You: A Memoir - Georgina Lucas (Hardback)
  • If Not For You: A Memoir - Georgina Lucas (Hardback)

If Not For You: A Memoir - Georgina Lucas (Hardback)

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Hardback 320 Pages
Published: 27/01/2022
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Waterstones Says

Reflecting on the miracle of the time spent with her new-born before losing him at the age of 21 days and the aftermath of the unimaginable loss, Lucas’ intimate and heartbreaking memoir stands as testament to the empathy, care and kindness of strangers amidst the most harrowing of times.

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 21 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.

He was looked after by strangers who became family, and he saw more kindness, more love, in twenty-one days than some might see in a lifetime. For his brief moments in this world, he experienced all of the very best things it can offer.

Georgie's spare, intimate and at times surprisingly comic writing offers an extraordinary message of hope. If Not For You is about the redeeming power of love, even in our darkest hour.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781408714560
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 34 mm


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

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

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

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

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

Georgie Lucas writes superbly with her spare, and unsentimental prose - Miriam Stoppard

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

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 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

Extraordinary... earth-shattering... so full of love - Anita Rani, Woman’s Hour

Profoundly moving - The Times

[A] heart-wrenching and hopeful book... about the redeeming power of love... A meditation on the meaning of life - Sunday Post

[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

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

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

It is heartbreaking and beautiful - Sophie Ellis Bextor

[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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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“Completely beautiful book - inside & out.”

I read this in one sitting — I just couldn’t stop reading. I had to sit on the bathroom floor in the night to finish it so as not to wake up my boyfriend. So incredibly moving and amazing. I would highly recommend it.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 3


I don't think words can really do If Not For You justice. It is a testimony of harrowing loss, intense love, and the power of small moments of joy. A must read

Content Warnings: grief, child death, medical... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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