‘Daughter’ by Mark Stewart-Jones


This is a book reflecting on one father’s love for his daughter who was born with cerebral palsy. It is an account of the crises and joys during the eighteen years that Sophie has been alive. It is a book which reiterates one message time and again – there is nothing in this world as strong as the love of a parent for a child.

The book is divided into chapters linked to significant episodes, from birth to the present. It is told in a reasonable, matter of fact manner, with no indication of the true tension and jangling nerves simmering under the surface. It identifies with realism, how professionals often talk at parents and use jargon almost guaranteed to bewilder and complicate understanding. The story or Sophie’s father’s account of her life is to state an exact age and describe to Sophie what significant thing happened that day either to her directly or about her.

The style takes some time to get used to, but once it becomes familiar, it is so easy to race along the pages to see what obstacles Sophie and her father faced and how they were overcome. It is actually essential to read this book slowly, letting the information take you away to that time and that environment.

I can’t say this was a feel-good book, but it certainly had me gripped until I could sigh and put it down. It has reminded me not to take anything in life for granted. Sophie must be a remarkable young woman, but no more so than her family for finding their way through the quagmire of medics and other professionals determined to be ‘right’ at all costs.

It is a book worth reading. It is unsentimental and positive.

Stewart-Jones, Mark (2009) Daughter

Book Guild Publishing

ISBN-10: 1846242932

ISBN-13: 978-1846242939

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