The Last Act Of Love

The Last Act Of Love In the summer of two weeks before his GCSE results which turned out to be the best in his school Cathy Rentzenbrink s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out su

  • Title: The Last Act Of Love
  • Author: Cathy Rentzenbrink
  • ISBN: 9781447286370
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the summer of 1990 two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school Cathy Rentzenbrink s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out, suffering serious head injuries He was left in a permanent vegetative state Over the following years, Cathy and her parents took care of Matty they built an extension onIn the summer of 1990 two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school Cathy Rentzenbrink s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out, suffering serious head injuries He was left in a permanent vegetative state Over the following years, Cathy and her parents took care of Matty they built an extension onto the village pub where they lived and worked they talked to him, fed him, bathed him, loved him But there came a point at which it seemed the best thing they could do for Matty and for themselves was let him go With unflinching honesty and raw emotional power, Cathy describes the unimaginable pain of losing her brother and the decision that changed her family s lives forever As she delves into the past and reclaims memories that have lain buried for many years, Cathy reconnects with the bright, funny, adoring brother she lost and is finally able to see the end of his life as it really was a last act of love Powerful, intimate and intensely moving, this is a personal journey with universal resonance a story of unconditional love, of grief, survival and the strength of the ties that bind It s a story that will speak to anyone who has lost someone close to them, to anyone who has fiercely loved a sibling, and to anyone who has ever wondered whether prolonging a loved one s life might be heartbreaking than saying goodbye.

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      Published :2019-06-19T13:05:41+00:00


    About “Cathy Rentzenbrink

    • Cathy Rentzenbrink

      Cathy Rentzenbrink grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London A former Waterstones bookseller, she is now Project Director of the charity Quick Reads and Associate Editor of The Bookseller magazine.



    228 thoughts on “The Last Act Of Love


    • Cathy and I have a few things in common. She's from Goole which is not far away from Gainsborough, where I live. Her Dad is Irish, so is my Mum. She went to college in Scunthorpe and she works for a charity, I worked for a charity running a project in Scunthorpe - teaching literacy skills to young offenders. There are other things too, memories of Pink Floyd lyrics, smoking and drinking under-age, village pubs and lock-ins, loving books and reading. Another major, stand-out thing brothers.I hav [...]


    • (3.5) “‘I had a brother. He died,’ I’d say. It pleased me that it was a version of the six-word short story made famous by Ernest Hemingway.” That’s the shorthand, but this wrenching memoir fills in the background. In the summer of 1990 Rentzenbrink’s younger brother Matty, 16 and about to receive his excellent GCSE test results, was hit by a car and sustained a head injury that left him in a persistent vegetative state. It took years to realize that, desperate as she and her paren [...]


    • Time taken to read - < 1 dayPages - 243Publisher - PicadorBlurb from In the summer of 1990 - two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school - Cathy Rentzenbrink's brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out, suffering serious head injuries. He was left in a permanent vegetative state. Over the following years, Cathy and her parents took care of Matty - they built an extension onto the village pub where they lived and worked; they [...]


    • Imagine someone you loved was lying in a coma or was in a permanent vegetative state and that there was no hope of them ever recovering; they would spend the rest of their life unable to move their limbs, go to the toilet unaided or communicate, and either you, or the state, would need to look after them around the clock.What would you do? Give up hope? Trust that the health authorities could provide the care and support your loved one needed — and that you could afford to pay for that care? B [...]


    • Duecedly beautiful, schathingly painful, ultimately ulplifiting and utterly moving tale of Cathy and her family dealing with the tragedy that was thrust upon them when the horrific accident left her brother -- Matty -- into a vegetative state. This tale of love and loss will shatter your heart into a million pieces and then put it back together filling the cracks with hope. I have no words to explain how beautiful this book is. Just read it!!The letter in end of the book that Cathy has written f [...]


    • "Grief is the price we pay for love. we have to believe, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."


    • If you've experienced sudden loss and the grief that can sometimes stay with you for years and perhaps never really go away completely this book will make you feel a little less alone. The author's rendering into a book of an unspeakable tragedy visited upon her family, her struggle with overcoming her self-imposed guilt and her grief and ultimately the acceptance of her grief makes it impossible for me to give this book anything less than five stars, if for no other reason than that it is not a [...]


    • Giving my habit of not reading synopsis because they're usually full of spoilers, I only realised this is a non fiction halfway through the book. I was in a cafe in Edinburgh when I saw a girl engrossed in this with teary eyes and I was tempted to know why. I read it in one sitting and that tears-clogging-your-eyes feeling never left me.



    • It feels strange to give this book a rating. How do you choose how many stars to give someone's tragedy such as this?This was a horrible situation where something terrible happened to a happy family, something no family deserves. Cathy has told the story of her brother beautifully, and managed to tell it in a way that wasn't overly depressing (which I appreciate, having very recently finished A Little Life). One of the reviews on the cover described it as life-affirming, and despite everything t [...]


    • It wasn't life-affirming and all the shit on the cover it's just sad. But it's good and had good writing. I feel like I couldn't relate to this book as much as others because I don't have siblings, especially not close to my age.



    • Hum - not quite what I was expecting. This really is Cathy's story as much as it is her brother's. She spent quite some time in a very difficult state after her brother's accident and after his death too. In a sense this is as much the story of her grief and recovery. Easy reading, powerful, don't regret reading it for a moment but I guess it didn't blow me away maybe.


    • Okay this wasn't what I'd expected it to be. I thought it was 'based on a true story' but it's actually a memoir. I know that this may be a book I return to in the future when I inevitably go through losing someone I love. So far I've lived a pretty sheltered life and by that I mean no close deaths so there's always been a glass barrier between me and the topic of grief which I know will shatter one day and I hope that reading these things will help future me deal with it. I like the idea of gri [...]


    • Originally blogged at: bookboodle.wordpress/2017I attended an event with Cathy Rentzenbrink at Booka Bookshop in Oswestry  when this book was released in 2015.  During the evening it was quite obvious the devastating effect this had had on Cathy and her family; her voice shaky with emotion as she spoke about her motivation for writing this book - in all honesty, after reaching the end, I think it was for cathartic reasons and the benefits of off-loading!The book is a brutally honest account [...]


    • I had the great fortune of seeing Cathy speak on a panel event at Latitude Festival a few weeks ago; I hadn't heard of her or this book until then but was inspired to pick it up afterwards. This is one of the most honest and brave accounts of dealing with long-term illness and grief I've ever read. While I cannot immediately relate to having experienced trauma as she has (her brother was involved in a car accident, experienced severe head injuries which left him in a PVS until he was allowed to [...]


    • Reading this book has been like reading one of my worst nightmares. I don't know what I would do if my brother ended up like Cathy's, but I know I wouldn't be as strong as she was.This very sad story about how Cathy looses her brother is heartbreaking. Not only did she loose him when she was 17 in a car accident, she looses him again 8 years later when she and her family decides to let him die. Cathy tells her story with such intimacy and love, that it became painful for me to read. I am extreme [...]


    • “It is our last act of love for him” This beautiful memoir will make you look at life in a whole new way, I'm so pleased that there are people in the world who have the courage to write these life-affirming books. It's inspiring. And I am in awe. It's raw, honest, emotional but uplifting.Reading this, I felt I was sitting with a friend, re-living with her this terrible tragedy that irrevocably altered her and her parents whole lives. It was particularly poignant for me being a sister to a yo [...]


    • This had me sitting up until the early hours sobbing. I knew from the first page that this was going to be one of those special books. It spoke to me, like a friend, I felt nostalgic for the 90's and the confused teenager girl who was desperately trying to find out who she was. I wanted to reach through the pages and give the young Cathy a hug, I needed to know that her family weren't ripped apart by such a tragedy (I'm in awe of all their strength, care and commitment they had for each other.) [...]


    • i had a brother. i learnt about love by loving him. he had the first bits of my heart. he died this is the true story of cathy's brother who was badly injured in a car accident and left in a coma state their parents were publicans and cathy was always the heart and soul of the party but something died in when matty would not respond and she also felt an overwhelming guilt. why did he not accept the lift i was offered? why him and not me? a very moving account of how a family cope and after 8 yea [...]


    • 4.5 stars- started off so amazing I was ready to put it on a pedestal with my favourite books But once the book moved on from Matty's accident and the direct aftermath from that, it focused more on Cathy and what she did in the years following Matty's death It was still a great read, it just lost a little bit of the magic from the start of the book as it went on. This was probably because when Matty had his accident, Cathy's writing made me feel as if I was a part of the whole situation. However [...]


    • One summer night in 1990, the life of Cathy Rentzenbrink changed forever. Her brother Matthew (Matty as he was known by his family) was knocked down and from then on he never spoke nor moved again.Cathy and her brother were close. Only a year separated the two siblings so they did everything together, looked out for each other at school and worked together behind the bar in the pub that their family owned.A truly moving book, "The Last Act of Love" is the testimony of how one family coped when t [...]


    • Wat een intense, hartverscheurende en emotionele rollercoaster! Echt briljant uitgewerkt en geschreven, maar zo tragisch en ontroerend tegelijkertijd. Dit boek brak mijn hart, maakte mij bewuster dan ooit hoe kostbaar én kwetsbaar het leven is en het vormt een kunstwerk in de puurste vorm. Prachtig!


    • I can't say that I enjoyed this book much I was going to give it 3 stars, but the last few pages made my eyes tear The letter she wrote to her brother Ah I can't describe my feelings4 stars it is.






    • I was totally engrossed with this heartbreaking account of a sister dealing with her brother's accident and the aftermath from the moment I read the first chapter. So much so that I sacked off doing usual Saturday morning chores and spent time reading this instead. Anyone was ever lost anyone they love will relate to this book - whether their loved one died suddenly or died after a long illness (or in the brother's case, died after being in a permanent vegetative state). The decisions that Cathy [...]


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