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A beautiful and moving memorial to a young boy’s suffering and death from cancer. But – much more – for the book explores the mystery of Anthony’s transforming death in the context of the author’s Christian faith. Here there is consolation for the bereaved and all who are hurt in life, as the corner of the veil is lifted on the enigma of suffering and love. Ian Mitchell
This book tells the story of Anthony who was diagnosed with primary bone cancer, aged 14, from which he later died. Beautifully and clearly written, it is an extraordinarily moving account of the course of his gradual decline, balanced by Anthony’s love of fantasy and humour and the special excursions by aircraft, lifeboat, etc., so kindly laid on for him. This is followed by details of the amazing utterances to his mother just before death, when doctors said he would not be able to talk, and by an analysis of their likely meaning. His sister’s dreams are also examined. Anthony’s suffering, courage and humour have strong parallels with the childlike St. Theresa of Lisieux. There follows a profound and passionate examination of the nature of love, suffering, courage and grief from a Christian viewpoint. And then the death itself. “Be not afraid” – Anthony was brave and fearless as death approached; and the author supports his own views on death with relevant and telling quotations from the Scriptures and from writers from Jung to Thomas Hardy. All royalties from the sale of this remarkable, unusual and thought-provoking book will be donated to the charity “The Anthony Pilcher Bone Cancer Trust”, formed in accordance with Anthony’s wishes, in order to increase survival rates for children suffering from this terrible cancer by improving diagnosis and finding new treatments. John Boyden
I found it to be one of the most beautiful and thought provoking books I have read for a very long time. I was not fortunate enough to have met Anthony but realise what a truly brave and remarkable young man he must have been. He obviously deeply touched the lives of those he met during his short life and through your book will I am sure touch the lives of many more. The death, particularly of such a young person, must be almost impossible to cope with, but I feel that the message that you have managed to convey arising from Anthony’s departure from this life will be a source of comfort and inspiration to many people. Trevor Wiltshire
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