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The Last Act of Love Reviews

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink

The Last Act of Love

The Story of My Brother and His Sister

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 26 Apr 2016
ISBN: 9781447286394

A powerful, timely and incredibly moving memoir in the bestselling tradition of Blake Morrison, Joan Didion and Ruth Picardie

3 stars out of 5
23 Jul 2015

"Rentzenbrink has a powerful voice, unsparing in the details of Matty's condition"

The Last Act of Love is Rentzenbrink's account of how they came to that decision; an attempt to work through the guilt she felt at wanting her brother to die, not just for his sake but also to release her and allow her to live again. It's not an easy read.

Rentzenbrink has a powerful voice, unsparing in the details of Matty's condition - the blood on her trousers where she had knelt on the road beside him, the 4in crater in his skull, the "stale, sweaty smell hanging around him". She's also unflinchingly honest about her reactions to the accident and its impact on her family. 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
5 Jul 2015

"And though the subject is heavy, the style isn’t. It is lucid and warm, and... feels strangely nourishing to read"

The Last Act of Love is a memoir, and a rather devastating one. It tells the story of Cathy Rentzenbrink and her family coming to terms with a horrific accident involving her younger brother Matty and its heartbreaking aftermath. It may look, on the surface, like a misery memoir as there is certainly some misery here, but that term doesn’t come close to doing it justice. It never, at any time, feels exploitative. The opposite, in fact. And the misery is offset by warmth and gentle humour... And though the subject is heavy, the style isn’t. It is lucid and warm, and – in detailing Cathy’s path towards a successful, happy, fulfilled, if clouded life – feels strangely nourishing to read. Which you absolutely should. The book itself feels an act of love.