This week, Ed Thornton talks to Madeleine Davies about her new book, Lights for the Path: A guide through grief, pain and loss, published today (21 May) by SPCK. It’s available to order from the Church Times Bookshop for the special price £8, and an extract is published in this week’s Church Times.
“Lights for the Path is part memoir and part theological reflection on the theme of death,” the Head of Theology at Youthscape, Dr Phoebe Hill, says. “Skilfully woven together and littered with literary references, Davies offers a gracious acknowledgement and comfort for the whole range of emotions a young person experiencing a death will encounter.
“Sharing her own story of losing her mum as a teenager, and the stories of others, this book is a window into the deeper questions of life: what happens when we die? Why would God allow this? Davies gives no trite answers; this honest account exposes the simplistic answers for what they are, and creates a safe space to air your true thoughts, your true feelings and your true questions for God.”
The Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Revd Dr Sam Wells, says: “If it can’t be happy, make it beautiful. Madeleine Davies offers us this exquisite gift, born from her own grief, her compassionate heart, and her listening soul.
“With elegant simplicity she attends to the fear, fury and fragility of loss, bringing forth wisdom, gentleness and insight in equal measure. Above all she gives us humility and patience, as she lets people tell their own stories and leaves unresolved what no comfort can easily heal. Anyone who faces the agony of loss could wish for no finer companion.”
Madeleine Davies is the features editor and deputy news editor of the Church Times. This is her first book. (Church Times Bookshop special price £8; CH Bookshop: 0845 017 6965).
At the end of the interview, Malcolm Guite reads his sonnet “Pilgrimage”.
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