“Ciara’s Gift is a brave and utterly inspiring book. Una Glennon has the rare gift as a writer. As she tells her own deeply personal and painful journey on losing her beloved daughter, she does so powerfully yet gently, enabling the reader not only to share her experiences, but to see their own losses with new eyes, and to contemplate how they might begin to walk beyond them.” MAGGIE HAMILTON – Click for Website
Best-selling author, Publisher Allen & Unwin, Sydney
“It’s a powerful and well written book.” MARK IRVING, WEST WEEKEND
“When Ciara’s Gift was published, I brought my copy home and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I loved it, the whole of it. I loved the feel of the embossed cover, the watercolour illustrations and very much the writing. Here a mother gives of herself to honour and remember her beloved daughter. Part memoir, part description, part inspiration, part hope and part survival. It spoke to me on every level. This is a book I will never give away. I read it and reread it, sometimes all of it, sometimes snippets of it – the parts of the book that “speak to me most,” I have highlighted and visit regularly. Una Glennon so eloquently describes the pain of losing a child and how she was affected on every level. When her daughter died, her life changed in that moment, forever. Her writing is tinged with deep insight and spirituality and the text is interspersed with quotes aligned to her prose. Her journey through grief is something every bereaved mother could relate to and ultimately gain comfort and hope from. This is her dedication: “To all parents who have lost a child. Grieving never ends but it does not end life.” This is a book reflecting on grief and adaptation to loss, but ultimately of acceptance and appreciation, of love and changing perspective. For anyone who has lost a child or if you know someone who has, this book will long remain a comforting companion.” ESDEER – Click for Website
“The book is written by a mother about her search for meaning after the murder of her daughter, and how the mother emerged “with a deeper understanding and acceptance of suffering and the fragility of life.”
I was a bit apprehensive about reading it because I was aware of the circumstances at the time and I felt it would be unnecessarily distressing to read the mother’s thoughts. However somehow I knew that I had to. I am so glad that I followed my intuition.
Amazingly, given the circumstances, I found the book to be very, very inspirational and I now treasure it greatly. I had no idea of the benefits I would gain from reading it.
When you think about what sort of remarkable woman (who had absolutely no motivation for self promotion) could write such a book, you get the first glimpse of its potential. Then you pick it up: it’s beautifully packaged, beautifully laid out and with easy to read (but powerful) words. Labelled “Ciara’s Gift”, you reflect on the attitude that would distil such a horrid experience into a “gift” and you now realise that this will indeed be worth reading.
And so it was. Yes, there is grief and sorrow and generally I don’t care for reading about that. But in this book, rising above the inevitable grief and sorrow which flows from the worst of circumstances, one sees absolute confirmation of faith, and the immeasurable relief that it provides. How good is that?! Consequently, the book offers an exciting insight into how we might approach confronting events ie. supported, even lifted, by faith.
One part of me says that I should not try and push anyone to read this beautiful piece of work because it is so profound that it deserves to be respected and absorbed, rather than just read by an unreceptive mind, at someone’s strong urging. Don’t go looking for a check list – it’s not that kind of book.
However the other part of me says that this is a must read because it demonstrates, completely free of any agenda, how faith can provide the peace of mind that we so often need. The benefits to me came from absorbing the author’s thoughts then reflecting on her approach, her later experiences and understandings and then, inevitably, considering my own approach to problems. This is very powerful as it has potential for interactions in almost every day our life, not just in times of grief. A wonderful sense of peace and calm can follow.
If you “get it” like I did, you too will have gained precious insights that can never be taken away – some of Ciara’s gift”. GREG MUNYARD on Amazon – Click for Website.