'Her journey through grief is enveloping, harrowing, even excruciating at times, at others poignant and revealing.'
- Mal McKissock, author of Coping with Grief
'Missing Christopher is a faultless gaze into the human heart where grief and love are enduring companions.'
- Patti Miller, author of Writing Your Life and The Memoir Book
'Jayne is clearly a superb writer... and she has produced a book that will be accorded "classic" status.'
- Professor Gordon Parker, Black Dog Institute
A hundred years ago – and further back – infant and child mortality figures were high. Death was commonplace and most knew loss intimately. Somewhere along the way we’ve started to believe death is for losers, and that with the right diet and exercise and cosmetic surgery we can endlessly extend mortality. The death of a child shocks everyone out of this conceit. It’s still the cruellest loss of all, and when a child’s death is by suicide, the pain of loss can be virtually insurmountable. This is the story of insurmountable loss,and how one woman had to learn to make that loss surmountable. Christopher was only 17, the middle son of three boys, when he jumped off a cliff and metaphorically almost took the whole family with him. Brave, illuminating, beautiful, this is a book for everyone who has loved and lost. Verdict: Haunting.
- Susan Johnson, author of he Broken Book
'The cruellest loss in the world is the death of a child, no matter what their age. This is a fine and moving book about a mother's difficult path to finding meaning in life again after the loss of her child.'
- Anne Deveson, author of Tell Me I'm Here
'Poignant, powerful, honest, raw and immersive'
- Blue Mountains Gazette
'This book would be hugely powerful for any person traveling the lonely road of grief after a suicide, or anyone who has lost a child or got stuck in the mire of grief.'
'Every young person who takes his or her own life is one too many. Jayne Newling’s book Missing Christopher is about her family and the aftermath of her son Christopher’s suicide. Jayne had three boys, all of whom suffer/ed from mental illness. Worst afflicted appeared to be the youngest, Nic. He heard voices, was severely depressed and in and out of psychiatric institutions. Eventually he was diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. Christopher and Ben, the oldest, suffered from depression. Christopher died a few weeks before his 18th birthday in what first appears to be an accident, falling from a cliff. His family fell apart. The book focuses on the author’s own emotions and the endless grief and loss she suffers. Reminders that she has two other sons fall on deaf ears; she wants to die herself, can’t see herself living when Christopher no longer does.
The author writes about the aftermath of Christopher’s death with brutal honesty, laying bare her profound pain and grief. She was encouraged to write this book by her son Nic, and we have to thank him for that because I believe that reading it will be ultimately healing for many distraught parents who find themselves in a comparable situation.
Jayne Newling is also a very skilled writer. The back and forth structure works very well and the short chapters and paragraphs serve to allow the reader a breather when the pain becomes too harrowing. Her writing is simply beautiful in terms of language, rhythm and metaphors/similes.
I have never before read or reviewed a book that has affected me as profoundly as Missing Christopher and strongly recommend it.'
- Annette Marfording, Radio producer/presenter, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival Director
'Heart wrenchingly painful and beautiful at the same time this book takes you on a journey of utmost pain and undying love.'
- Amelia, Goodreads reader review
'Jayne writes with such clarity, fusing that weight of loss and self-destruction with tenderness in her grief... I was captivated, I mourned, fretted and worried about the outcome... Brutally honest, this book is a window into youth mental illness, how it affects each person differently and what it is like to live in a fear that no one understands.'
- B. Michel, Amazon Kindle reader review
'What an amazing story. Powerful. Sad but overall, incredible. Jayne has dug deep to write raw emotion. It was impossible to put it down from the first page.'
- Thomas D, Amazon Kindle reader review