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Thursday, February 23, 2012

It Rains in February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss by Leila Summers

On the 24th of February 2007 my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea, leaving me widowed with two young daughters aged six and four. I knew it wasn't an accident, even though the medics and police never suspected suicide. Stuart had been talking about ending his life for a year. His most recent suicide attempt had been only three weeks earlier. Afterwards, he explained that day as the most peaceful day of his life. Sitting next to the dam, he smoked his last cigarette. He drank a hundred sleeping pills and did a final check to make sure everything would look like an accident. The last thing he remembered was swimming out into the crystal clear water. He said that he was no longer scared of dying, that there was nothing scary about it. Living was the scary thing.

It Rains In February: A Wife's Memoir of Love and Loss is the true story of a husband's depression and obsession, not only with another woman, but also with ending his life. In this honest and heartfelt narrative, Leila Summers weaves a compelling tale of the year that led up to Stuart's suicide and the grief, profound loss and self discovery that followed. Although each suicide is unique, this book gives the reader an insider's view from one perspective by way letters and e-mail messages.
Summary taken from
Length: 232 pages
Source: Review copy supplied by author
Publication Date: October 24th 2011

A couple months ago I was approached by the author Robyn who goes by the nom de plume Leila Summers. Usually I don't read books like this but after I read the summary I was convinced that I would  have to read it.

A few days ago I finally got around to read it and I'm glad I did. Ever since finishing it though I've been struggling with how I should review it. I mean this isn't a work of's some one's life I'm reading about. In fact I don't even think I can properly put into words how I felt about this memoir but I'll give it the old college try.

This book was an emotional read for me. Robyn really took me into her world with her words. I loved the way in which she wrote her memoir. For me it was as if I was reading a love letter to her husband, it was deeply personal and very intimate. Several times while reading it I had to stop because I had a sense that I was invading her privacy while there were other times when I had to put the book down because Stuart was making me so angry.

The book is about Robyn's husband Stuart's last 2 years of life, the disintegration of a marriage and a family...and ultimately Stuart's suicide. I really admire Robyn and the rest of the people that stood by Stuart like his sister Ruth. Despite his continued deterioration and that which they themselves endured they still loved him, and unlike many people they didn't turn their backs on him when he fell to pieces.

Even though I read the book I cannot comprehend how much strength it took Robin to keep loving the man that was so willing to walk away from their marriage on the hopes that the woman he had been having an emotional affair with for 2 years before marriage broke up would leave her family. The memoir was raw with emotion and was written beautifully.

Robyn truly inspires me. She held her head high for her daughters and dealt with blow after blow delt by Stuart. Yes she had a difficult time of it, and yes she would get angry at her children because she was so stressed out but that is perfectly understandable given the situation all can be forgiven.

To say I enjoyed this book would be wrong. How could I enjoy a book like this? Yet, that doesn't mean that I didn't love it. This book is a shining example of how a woman had to come to terms with her family falling apart because of her husband's love for another. It took me on a journey that showed that while Robin sometimes wavered, the strength and love she had for her husband stayed throughout the book. She did all she could to save his life, but was not meant to be. I found myself to be incredibly moved by Robyn's writing and I do hope that she realizes that she has a gift, one that I hope she continues to use because I would love to read more from her.

This book is highly recommended to everyone. It will make your heart hurt...and it will make you feel compassion something that I find is often lacking in the world today. It will take you on a journey of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

To buy it from Amazon Click Here.
To visit Robyn/Leila Summers' Website Click Here

*I would like to thank the author, Robyn "Leila Summers" for sending me a copy of her book in exchange for my free and honest review.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


  1. This sounds like a thought provoking and wondeful read I will defintely check it out(:

    Amazing review!

  2. I REALLY want to find this book and read it!! Sounds really good, I love reading books like this...thank for reviewing it:) New follower here also from

  3. Would love to read this. Thanks for the great review!

    1. I e-mailed the author and we're going to do a giveaway so if you enter you could win! :)

  4. This book sounds so good! I will be definitely checking it out.

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