Book Review: Staying

Staying is a moving memoir from Jessie Cole, exploring the effects of grief on family and the individual.

Jessie Cole’s essay, The Breaking Point, first appeared in Meanjin, then in Best Australian Essays 2014. In it, Cole explores — tenderly, but openly — the effect of her sister’s suicide on her father’s mental health. Staying, Cole’s memoir, surveys her family’s grief and the loneliness born of unspeakable heartbreak.

Contrasted against the lush nature of her childhood home, a leafy haven on the northern New South Wales coast, is the pain and chaos her family weathered in the wake of her sister’s death, and the fear and hopelessness they faced in her father’s breakdown and eventual suicide.

A delicate, difficult portrait of a family suffering delicate, difficult circumstances.

If you need someone to talk to, the following free services operate 24/7: Lifeline (13 11 14); Mental Health Emergency (13 14 65); Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)

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