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Let Not the Waves of the Sea

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781848545601

Price: £8.99

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LET NOT THE WAVES OF THE SEA is Simon Stephenson’s account of his journey following the loss of his brother in the Indian Ocean tsunami. If it is a story of grief, it is also a story of hope and of the unexpected places where healing can be found.

Simon’s journey takes him from Edinburgh in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, to Downing Street in London, to Thailand and the island where his brother died, to the scene of an ancient tsunami on the north-west coast of the United States, and to the town where he and his brother’s favourite childhood film was made. Along the way there is heartbreak, dengue fever, Greek mythology, and hard physical labour in the tropical heat, but there is also memory, redemption and humour as well.


'An immensely moving, truthful and honest elegy, Let Not The Waves of The Sea will go straight into your heart and take up residence there for a long, long time. Stephenson has created something extraordinary: a fearlessly and nobly emotional book without a jot of manipulative sentimentality'
Neel Mukherjee
'Stephenson has written an extraordinary and courageous book, detailing and analysing in a cool, clear voice what it means to lose a loved one. Let Not the Waves... is more than merely a tale of mourning, however; it is a moving exploration of brotherhood and friendship, an uplifting story of a young man coming to terms with life's random cruelty. We read novels because they speak in universals, non-fiction for specifics. Very occasionally a non-fiction work leaps the generic divide and says something that will endure: Let Not the Waves of the Sea is one of those books.'
Alex Preston
'Enviably well written ... [Stephenson] has been gifted ... the ability to finesse feelings into one perfect sentence after another. Thus his gift becomes everyone's gift, and one we are so infrequently granted - that of understanding other lives.'
'Like William Styron's moving memoir of depression, Darkness Visible, there is profound empathy here and, in recognising that the tragedy of Dominic's death was that of a life not fully run, Simon's tribute is both to his brother and to each of the 230,000 souls lost to an unimaginable force of nature.'
A fine meditation on what is salvaged from loss. A humane and manly book
Janice Galloway, Scotland on Sunday
...moving and honest account...the book contains countless heartbreaking moments. The most powerful are those that are stated simply...One can't, however, help but be drawn along with the undertow of grief. It is also a celebration of brotherly love and the 'testosterone-boiling joy of being teenage boys together
Sunday Times
The facts alone are enough to convey the nightmare through which Stephenson was living but it is his moving prose that really manages to give a sense of that unimaginable time and place...he has an obvious talent and there are some beautiful passages...Let Not the Waves of the Sea remains a compelling account of a man forced into a harsh, sorrow-filled world...Stephenson has provided the best kind of travelogue: he has walked a fraught path and brought us back a beautifully crafted portrait of bereavement that tells us something new about the landscape, people, customs and hardship that he encountered along the way...
Sunday Telegraph
Profoundly moving ... Such is his surgical skill with words, and his heartrending honesty, that it is impossible not to be touched ... A powerful study
There are surprisingly few good books about grief. Joyce Carol Oates's A Widow's Story which came out earlier this year was a remarkably stark and unflinching account of the loss of her husband. Now comes Simon Stephenson's Let Not The Waves Of The Sea, which in its own way is just as remarkable .. Even in extremis, his narrative never loses its drive, its focus, or its honesty. Not surprisingly, this is a gruelling read, and yet ultimately it's not a depressing one, for it's as much a celebration of Dominic's life and the brothers' relationship as it is a lament for his passing
Daily Mail
'A remarkably moving and compelling read. The travelogue and biography is a celebration of his brother's life and deals courageously with the journey to understand his death in the Asian tsunami on Ko Phi Phi'
Andrew Dixon, Scotland on Sunday