Recommended by Nick Barley (Festival Director)
Having always had her nose buried in a book, Cathy Rentzenbrink is someone whose life beyond that of her imagination ought to be nothing much to write home about. However, as anyone who has read her bestselling memoir The Last Act of Love will know, the tragic death of her brother Matty was an event that profoundly affected her – and continues to do so. What’s more, although it could never quell the pain, chronicling that awful experience also confirmed her as an exceptional memoirist, with the ability to recount stories of her life with style and panache.
In Dear Reader, Rentzenbrink canters through her whole life to date, punctuating her experiences (including the time around Matty’s accident) with many of the books she read along the way. It’s a wonderfully engaging device, leaving readers with another captivating memoir and a stunningly diverse list of books to turn to in good times or bad.