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This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: skirt!; First edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762770082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762770083
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Susannah Conway’s new book works magic: it meets us in our darkest moments—of grief, shame, hopelessness—and shows us how to transform them into love, creativity, and confidence. Written with tenderness, filled with gorgeous images and helpful exercises, she reminds us that the beauty we seek is always right in front of our eyes.” --Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart

 “You hold in your hand one of those books. You will buy multiple copies of it to press into the hands of friends. You will mark it up with notes, and read passages again and again. You will not lend this out. This book was forged in grief and is lit by love. Feast your creative heart!”--Jennifer Louden, author of The Life Organizer and The Woman's Comfort Book

“Reading Susannah’s words feels like spending time with a perfect friend—the kind who mixes mojitos as she listens to your dreams, laughs and cries with you, and most of all, persuades you that YOU CAN DO IT! I lost count of the times I was inspired to put it down to take a photograph or to write in my journal. I’m still bowled over by the generosity of this book.”  ---Sarah Salway, Canterbury Laureate and author of You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book

 

 

From the Inside Flap

This is a book about unraveling the layers of our lives, delving beneath the surface in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path. Author Susannah Conway uncovered this process following a tragedy—the sudden death of the man she loved. In sharing her journey of self-discovery, she reveals how grief reshaped her life and led her to reconnect with her creativity, make peace with her past, and learn to appreciate herself.

You hold in your hands a guidebook of sorts, a collection of thoughts and theories, each chapter culminating in a small creative exercise for you to reflect upon and apply to your own life. With her words and signature dreamy Polaroid images, Conway reminds us that we are not alone, that living mindfully is a process, and that in time you can let yourself be who you were always meant to be.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I have been savoring this book as I read it.
M. Linda Hopp
If you have ever loved, ever struggled to make sense of a broken heart, her story will resonate and then, step by step, it will guide you toward light, toward healing.
Amy Oscar
This book is beautifully written and the photographs that are mixed amongst her words are breathtaking.
Jennifer Belthoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jill M. Salahub on May 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Any woman who has experienced grief and loss (that is, every woman alive) should read this book. For some of us this is the loss of a loved one, for others the loss of self, or for others still it might be the loss of both. This book is a map of one woman's personal journey through bereavement and rediscovery of self, but it is also offered as a guidebook for those making their way along the same path, traveling through that same territory of loss. And yet, as Susannah says, this "is not a story about grief, although it informs everything I've learned about life. This is a book about unraveling the layers of our lives and exploring what we find in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path."

This book embodies, through both word and image, the tender heart of that sadness, not shying away from the reality of it, the truth that life can kick your ass but that we can also lean into joy and be softened by beauty, can and will encounter grace, and know love. We may have tears streaming down our face or feel bad about our thighs, but with our eyes and heart open wide to both the brutality and beauty of life, we can heal, we can live a wholehearted life.

This book might first be about one woman's individual journey towards wholeness, but in the end, it is an offering to the reader, an invitation to unravel our own hearts. Sometimes, simply knowing that others have walked a similar path is all the medicine and advice you need, but Susannah Conway takes it one step beyond, offering a reflection at the end of each chapter, small creative exercises that invite the reader to explore, to unravel. In this way, it is a book that one could come back to again and again.

In the end, this book is like a long, intimate conversation with the best girlfriend ever, one who has been where you are, can authentically sit in that dark place with you, but who also has a map that shows the way out, an invitation to the rest of your beautiful life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Occasional Muse on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Georgia O'Keefe wrote, "...to see takes time, like to have a friend
takes time." This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart is not a book for people who are in a hurry
to fix or change themselves. Its a book you soak in and absorb, like
a bubblebath or hot chocolate or a spring rain, or an afternoon in the
company of a dear friend who knows you so well. Its a book that
quietly reveals the power of taking the time to see yourself, and the
stories that have contained your life, up til now.

The author's own words are the very best description of the essence of the book:

"... and yet, I am so compelled to share, knowing that in the sharing
we find common ground, that my story might sing to your heart, just as
your story calls to mine."

Although death was the event which rocked her world, the theme of Susannah's
journey is how grief made it urgent to finally take the time to truly
befriend herself, and fully accept the beauty in both her
vulnerabilities and strengths.

Images and experiences from daily life gently nudge the
reader toward self-recognition, weaving together stories we all share
- insecurities about love, body, career, family, loss, ageing; but
without dwelling on the pain for its own sake, nor pushing it aside in
the interest of finding a silver lining. Like her luminous
photographs of simple, everyday surroundings, each facet the author's
story shines as worthy of regard, familiar and beautiful, like a face
we love, yet are getting to know for the first time, all over again.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Belthoff on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Susannah's words speak directly to the heart. Unraveling thoughts and feelings that live deep inside. This book is beautifully written and the photographs that are mixed amongst her words are breathtaking. It is difficult to put down. You can feel Susannah's heart through her words and images. She inspires you to live deeply and creativly. Soaking in the beauty that is this world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Katrina Simeck on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I rec'd my order of this i know on a saturday afternoon - I settled on the couch, intending to read just a bit while I enjoyed a late afternoon glass of wine. A couple of hours later, I forced myself to put the book down so that I could cook dinner & open another bottle of wine. I finished the book Sunday morning.

Brilliant.

Susannah's story centers around the death of her partner, but really, her words resonate with anyone who is dealing with grief. She writes honestly, and from a place of heartfelt sorrow.

The maddening bit? Well, I'm dealing with my own framework of grief right now, and I felt a bit inferior reading about Susannah's journey. She's motivated me to work through this, through all the messy bits.

Highly, highly recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aurelie on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you already know and love Susannah, you will love this book.
If you haven't yet met Susannah and read this book, prepare to fall in love.
Deeply.
For me, the cover doesn't quite convey what is waiting for you on the inside. The book is so beautifully laid out and Susannah's photographs are placed so perfectly with her writing-- and the feeling inside the book is what it feels like to be with Susannah-- soft, dreamy, decidedly romantic-- the way she captures light, how softly she presses petals into her photographs-- I don't know that the saturated colors of the cover will tell you this. But I will. And the gentle feeling as she writes to you is just as if you are sitting with a friend, on the sofa-- heart to heart-- quiet, true, urgent-- purchase this book without hesitation. It is lovely.
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