Anne Dunhill

Anita is a book of memoirs written by Anne Dunhill and published by Quartet earlier this year.

Its main thrust is the tragic death of Anita, a favourite daughter who died from cancer at the very peak of her youth. The narrative is heartbreaking, and is certain to bring tears to the most hardened reader. Here is a small extract that encapsulates the trauma of such a painful loss.

Shortly before going into hospital, Anita asked me, almost playfully, what I’d do if she died. Taken aback, I allowed myself, for once, to be spontaneous. ‘Oh, it’d be the end of me,’ I said. At this, she got very distressed and made me promise I’d keep going after her death, so of course I did. Since she died I’ve sometimes asked myself what on earth the point is of me remaining here once my child has gone, but my thoughts always come back to this conversation, and I feel I should stick around as promised, even if I don’t know why.

The book is worth buying for its candour and outpouring emotions.

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