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A Manual for Heartache


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The wise and inspiring book from the bestselling author of The Last Act of Love

Table of Contents

Introduction - i: Introduction Chapter - 1: What's Your Story? Chapter - 2: Grenades and Guillotines Chapter - 3: An Etiquette Guide for Bad News Chapter - 4: What to Do When the Worst Happens Chapter - 5: I Am One in Four Chapter - 6: How to Feel Better Chapter - 7: Instructions to My Future Self Chapter - 8: Emotional Time Travel Chapter - 9: On Being a Hopeful Agnostic Chapter - 10: The Last Piece of the Puzzle Chapter - 11: Fear of Dying Chapter - 12: A Deathbed Perspective Acknowledgements - ii: Acknowledgements Section - iii: Reading to Feel Better Section - iv: Daily Writing

About the Author

Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London, where she works as a writer and journalist. She is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling memoir The Last Act of Love, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.


A Manual for Heartache explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and provides reassurance that suffering may change us forever but we can emerge filled with hope. * Express *
I read A Manual for Heartache in a single sitting. Cathy's not a therapist or a doctor and this book is all the better for it. It's human and kind and rooted in the everyday, in the language that we all recognise and the horrors that we all experience when we feel out of control or so lost we can hardly speak. I loved it. I've learned from it. Every house needs one: like a torch and a spare fuse it can help you find your way home. -- Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon
A Manual for Heartache is a book that could change the life of someone whose hands it finds its way into at the right moment. I wish I could go back and give it to my younger self at various points in my own life. A copy should be issued to every teenager in school . . . It delivers that most important of messages: You are not alone. -- Alice Adams, author of Invincible Summer
Generous, honest and uplifting. People need this book. -- Nina Stibbe
A Manual for Heartache is wise and insightful. It is one of the most touching and honest books I've read and I expect it will light the end of the tunnel for many. It is very brave and very true. -- Suzanne O'Sullivan, author of It's All In Your Head
Cathy Rentzenbrink is a light in the dark. I can't think of anyone I wouldn't recommend this book to. -- Jenny Colgan
A wise, clear, warm and inclusive friend to help you through times of great sadness -- whether your own or a loved one's. This book should be available on prescription. -- Sali Hughes
When my life turned upside down, this is the book I wish I could have read. If anyone you know is in the depths of grief, A Manual for Heartache can show you how to be the friend they need. -- Decca Aitkenhead, author of The Promised Land
I devoured A Manual for Heartache in one sitting . . . a kind, honest and wise book about how to make a friend of sadness. -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Poignant . . . If her first memoir honoured her brother, Rentzenbrink's slim follow-up honours her recovery. As in The Last Act of Love she is dignified and eloquent, but she is also more confessional . . . A Manual for Heartache is short on pages and short on self-pity, but big on compassion and supremely big-heared. It is a generous and important addition to an expanding shelf of therapeutic memoirs that help us blunder through modern life * Sunday Times *
A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink might not sound like holiday reading, it's the perfect choice for anyone keen to use the time off to make sense of any recent emotional upheaval -- Laura Barnett

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