**One Thousand Days and One Cup of Tea was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random Things Tours, Octopus Books, Vanessa Moore, and Kyle Books for having me on the tour.**
Vanessa’s husband Paul died suddenly and tragically on their regular Sunday morning swim. This is a raw narrative of how she found a way to move forward for her teenage children, their dilapidated home, and the patients who all need her. Beautifully written and honestly relayed, the book dives into the aftermath of death, the painful reminders, the heart-warming moments, and how to endure the pain of loss.
Sometimes you read a book and everything is put into perspective. All things that seem so grand and worrisome at the time disappear by the time you’ve finished the book. That’s exactly how I felt when I finished One Thousand Days and One Cup of Tea.
Vanessa walks us through the tragic loss of her husband, Paul, and how she eventually learns to cope with it. As the memoir progresses, it feels like a weight is starting to lift, and whilst much sadness remains, there are moments of glorious humour that bring much-needed light to the narrative. Reading the stories about her patients was enlightening as the world of Children’s Clinical Psychology is new to me. It became clear to me that Vanessa simply wanted to have the same compassion and sensitivity from a psychologist that she gave to her own patients.
I was completely and utterly engrossed in this memoir from start to finish. It’s written so beautifully and the rawness of Vanessa’s story makes this book extremely powerful. There are also mentions of research done by other psychologists that were equally as fascinating as the research Vanessa did herself. The story is constructed in a way that it’s as much of an educational experience as it is a retelling of some of her most painful memories and experiences. There is so much bravery displayed by her patients as they have allowed for their own personal, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories to be shared in this book.
I try to avoid using the word ‘inspiring’ when talking about memoirs because I find that can sometimes come off as condescending, but One Thousand Days and One Cup of Tea is beyond inspiring. To find the strength and willingness to carry on after such trauma can feel impossible, but with this memoir, you feel uplifted by the end of it. Being able to read as Vanessa’s life changed for the better and she learned how to be alone can only bring a new understanding to how someone can deal with times in the darkest depths of grief by persevering and having a willingness to want to change.
It was an honour to read Vanessa’s story. There were tears, there were laughs, and there was strength. It was refreshing to read a realistic account of recovery from depression and anxiety. Whilst it never really leaves you, there are ways to manage and cope with it as was so brilliantly shown in this book. There was a moment when I almost had an existential crisis of my own while reading it, but this solidified for me how incredible it is. If a book can make you feel something so deeply that it leads to an almost existential crisis then it’s helping you to learn new things about yourself. It’s making you also deal with your own problems head-on which is remarkable.
Since I’ve given such a glowing review, it would make no sense to give this fantastic memoir any less than 5/5 stars. I was floored by it in the best way.