Kadian Journal: Reviews


*****    - The Telegraph

*****       -  The Express


'This is a fine, brave book, a tough-minded, tender-hearted evocation of a beautiful boy, his all-too-short life and the impact of his death on a loving family. Harding has done his boy proud and turned nightmare into art.' - Doron Weber, Washington Post

'An extraordinary memoir' - - Kerri Miller, Minnesota Public Radio

'Out of unbearable grief comes a book of profound love: there is no shred of self-pity in this marvellous book. The malicious and random brutality of fate and the racking pain of loss have met their match in Thomas Harding who miraculously turns those horrors into something memorably great." - -Stephen Fry

'An astonishing book about the incident and the unprocessable grief that followed... Harding's remarkable memoir is written with transparent emotional intelligence.' - - Kate Kellaway, Observer

'A heart-breaking record... For a man in such raw, intense pain, Harding writes with remarkable precision. In the final pages, he frets that his book does not do his son justice. But though I cried and shook as I read it, I also felt Kadian Harding’s 14 years shine brilliantly from its pages. I felt his love of dolphins and chocolate and Apple products. I felt his quirky humour and his bravery in the face of school bullies. I felt his love for his parents and sister. Thomas Harding has been generous in sharing his boy with me and I am grateful he found words.' - - Helen Brown, The Daily Telegraph

'A powerful, raw tribute to a teenage son killed in a bicycle accident that is both a harrowing portrait of grief and a beautiful portrait of a loving family... The power of the prose, the vividness of the picture painted mean the reader shares a fraction of their pain. This book is raw and heartbreaking but it is never intrusive or gratuitous. The writing is real and spare, the love so very deep that the reader can scarcely look away.' - - Giulia Rhodes, Sunday Express

'A raw and compelling read, weaving between the accident, its aftermath, precious moments in Kadian's life and the unique relationship between a father and son.' - - Angela Levin, The Daily Telegraph

'A memoir, a threnody and a love song... spontaneous and impressionistic.' - - Sara Wheeler, The Times

'What started as a ‘brain dump’ of words has formed a profoundly moving account of a father trying to ‘accommodate’ the pain and grief. His despair, guilt and contemplation of the what ifs in the aftermath of his son’s death run alongside scenes from Kadian’s short life and offer a tender tribute to his son.' - -Julia Richardson, Daily Mail, Must Read

'What sets "Kadian Journal" apart from some other writing about grief is Harding's courage, keeping what he writes true to the experience he describes.  He does not numb his pain or minimize embarrassment about the blind alleys he follows in trying to reassemble his life. The reader is right there, on the scene, however bitter or tender or gentle it may be, as if Harding is extending a guiding hand, one he could never again offer his lost child.' - - Stephanie Shapiro, Buffalo News

‘Stunning. The most moving book I’ve read.’ - - Ian Austin MP

‘This is the very best account of a parent’s bereavement I have ever read, a powerfully immediate and clear-eyed record of a devastating experience. It is also a love story, true and deep – offering film-like clips of the joys of parenthood, and of the agony when it abruptly ends.’ - - Julia Samuel, Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK

'This week I finished Kadian Journal by Thomas Harding. It is the story of his son Kadian and the year Thomas spent grieving at his shocking accidental death. Brutally honest, it is also an incredibly beautiful book that balances the joy that he brought, and the sadness of his absence..' - - Tim O'Kelly, owner of One Tree Books