The Day That Went Missing (Hardback)Richard Beard (author)
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A family story of exceptional power and universal relevance - about loss, about carrying on, and about recovering a brother's life and death.
The family is Mum, Dad and four boys. I am second in a declension that goes 13, 11, 9, 6. My brother Nicholas Beard is nine. For nearly forty years I haven’t said his name, but in writing I immediately slip into the present tense, as if he’s here, he’s back. Writing can bring him to life.
Life changes in an instant. On a family summer holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Nicholas and his brother Richard are jumping in the waves. Suddenly, Nicholas is out of his depth. He isn't, and then he is. He drowns.
Richard and his other brothers don't attend the funeral, and incredibly the family return immediately to the same cottage - to complete the holiday, to carry on. They soon stop speaking of the catastrophe. Their epic act of collective denial writes Nicky out of the family memory. Nearly forty years later, Richard Beard is haunted by the missing grief of his childhood but doesn't know the date of the accident or the name of the beach. So he sets out on a pain-staking investigation to rebuild Nicky's life, and ultimately to recreate the precise events on the day of the accident.
Who was Nicky? Why did the family react as they did? And what actually happened? The Day That Went Missing is a heart-rending story as intensely personal as any tragedy and as universal as loss. It is about how we make sense of what is gone. Most of all, it is an unforgettable act of recovery for a brother.
‘It is a safe bet that few of the memoirs currently lining bookshop shelves will be as cumulatively powerful, or as brutally honest, as Beard’s interrogation of his suppressed past.’ – The Times
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 428 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 28 mm
"This captivating book, both heart-rending and jaw-dropping, unfolds like a detective story" * Daily Mail *
"A touching, painful disquisition on memory and forgetting and the tendrils that tie us to the past" -- Caroline Moorehead * Guardian *
"Clear-eyed, very sad, funny at times and, despite the story it tells, ultimately uplifting in its determination to confront buried truths." * Sebastian Faulks *
"A devastating forage into memory and the brutality of the stiff upper lip" -- Evie Wyld * Observer *
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Wow what a book!
Grief does horrible things to the brain and richards has blocked out the day his brother Nicholas died.
For Richards family too have closed memories of the day but in this journey taken memories... More
“A story of grief with a stiff upper lip”
When Richard Beard was 11, his 9-year-old brother Nicholas (Nicky) drowned while the family was on holiday in Cornwall. Richard was with him in the water, and nearly drowned as well but managed to escape the sudden... More
An extremely raw, honest emotional and heart-breaking read.
Once I started this book I just couldn't put it down, this book will stay with me for a very long time, although it was extremely sad there were a few... More
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