On the 24th of February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards, he explained that day as the most peaceful day of his life. Sitting next to the dam, he smoked his last cigarette. He drank a hundred sleeping pills and did a final check to make sure everything would look like an accident. The last thing he remembered was swimming out into the crystal clear water. He said that he was no longer scared of dying, that there was nothing scary about it. Living was the scary thing.
It Rains In February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss is the true story of a husband's depression and obsession, not only with another woman, but also with ending his life. In this honest and heartfelt narrative, Leila Summers weaves a compelling tale of the year that led up to Stuart's suicide and the grief, profound loss and self discovery that followed. Although each suicide is unique, this book gives the reader an insider's view from one perspective by way letters and e-mail messages.
This book deals with the subject matter of extramarital affairs, depression, suicide, death, grief, bereavement, loss and coping with death and young children. It may be helpful to those who have experienced a suicide in the family, the loss of a loved one to suicide, or who are dealing with depression or the depression of a loved one. It is not meant to offer any form of advice, and is based solely upon the author's personal experience.
Leila Summers has written a memoir that takes you completely into her world. Saved emails and intimately personal diaries cried out to be crafted into a book, and Summers has not let them down. Her vivid images draw the reader into the room with the abandon of a movie-goer watching a fine film. She portrays her husbands agony and behavior with the clarity of an observer yet the compassion of a loving wife. Summer's indomitable spirit provides testament to the power of the heart to rise above tragedy and embrace hope.
It Rains In February is a touchingly written memoir in the form of a posthumous letter to Ms. Summers deceased husband. The prose is stunning and lush, rich with detail. As a reader, I could smell the flowers, the coffee, the cigarettes, the sea, and the death. The characters are richly drawn and undeniably real. I consider myself a fan of the memoir, and every word of this one rings true on the deepest emotional level. It is a work of unquestionable courage and vulnerability. One cannot help but be moved by the immense sacrifice this woman is willing to make for this man, her family, and the meaning of life, death and love. Ms. Summers also shows a biting grasp of the language. E-mails passed between the characters provide the reader with a wildly intimate look at a couple struggling with every duality imaginable: love and loss, joy and madness, friendship and intimacy and, ultimately, life and death. It will leave you questioning the meaning we attach to all of it. It Rains In February reads as a wrenching yet uplifting, brutal and gentle, hopeless and life-affirming story. If youre like me, you ll want to start it again as soon as you finish the first read.
An insightful and powerfully written memoir. Highly recommended.
It Rains In February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss, was a finalist in the 2014 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards in Category 6: Adults Non-fiction.