Losing Diana, Jane Benham

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Jane Benham pours her soul into this book.  Hers is a story of the relationship between two sisters and the survival of this connection through the most debilitating disease. You are taken on a journey of heartache, loss and sadness; hope and family; through laughter tears and back again. It will stay with you long past the End.

Publisher: Austin Macauley, Jan 2014

Reviewer:  Katy Poulloin

This is a very distinctive auto-biography written by a lady who lost her sister to Motor Neurone disease. It follows the authors journey, via nostalgic memories of childhood, to the day her sister was diagnosed and the months thereafter. It is striking in it’s reality; the events could have happened to anyone. Diana was living her normal, somewhat simple life looking after her house, husband and children, like millions of others, when a single decision by her husband changed her, her children’s and her families life for ever. While some people are able to adapt to such changes, this book highlights the devastation such decisions can bring to others. A thought provoking domino effect is laid out in this story, from the perspective of the author; Diana’s sister.

I would recommend reading this book, because it’s an easy but somewhat sad read. However, I do feel there are quite distinctive positives and negatives to the book which should be highlighted. Firstly the con’s – the grammar style is somewhat excitable, there are an abundance of exclamation marks and slang speech which made reading a little difficult at times. Also, probably due to the fact it is an auto-biography, I find it necessary to point out there are political views in the book which not everyone may agree with. Also, understandably, the author has very strong opinions on Diana’s husband, which gives a slightly one sided view to everything. However, the book is an interesting one to read. It felt like I had sat down with an old aunt or my Mum and was being told a story about a relative I didn’t know. The conversationalist style of writing gave this effect. While the subject matter is so sad, and you feel incredibly awful for the people within it, the writing style doesn’t become depressing and suck you down into the awfulness of the subject matter. It is interesting and leads the reader into wondering what happened next.

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One Response to Losing Diana, Jane Benham

  1. jane benham says:

    Dear Katy
    thank you for your comments regarding Losing Diana, the obvious error is that you called Diana- Diane, I changed all names to protect family and friends. It was the most terrible time to live through and the comments about husbands etc had to be included otherwise the story would not have flowed, the book would have been twice the size if I had included everything that happened . My views are just views because of my nephews awful predicament and how it has made me feel since I took over the lives of my niece and nephew. On the whole I liked what you have written and thank you for taking time to read my first book.

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