Book Review : Ask Me His Name

Today I will be sharing with you my full and honest a review of Elle Wright’s ‘Ask Me His Name’.

When I started my blog you may remember my reluctance to set a theme, and declaration to refrain from following any ‘rules’. Well, I guess I’ve stayed true to myself in that sense, with my pretty sporadic posts, and varied topics of discussion. However, today’s post is something a bit different; a book review. The book in question is no ordinary book though. No, this story is something really very special, quite unlike anything I have ever read before, but utterly captivating and, though totally heart breaking and guaranteed to have you in floods of tears, so so very full of love. Which may well have a lot to do with why I feel compelled to share it with you. The book I am sharing with you all today is called, ‘Ask Me His Name’, written by Elle Wright – Teddy’s Mummy, who you can find out much more about over at www.featheringtheemptynest.co.uk/.

Now, you may already be familiar with Elle, perhaps from her gorgeous eye for interior over on her instagram ( @feathering_the_empty_nest ), but most likely, you’ll know her from all the incredible work she does, pouring her heart and soul into creating and raising awareness for a very important subject- baby loss. Unless you have experienced or seen first hand the utter devastation that is brought about from the loss of a child, it is not something we dare think about. I mean, why would we? However, for some women this is their reality. In May 2016 Elle become a mother, to a very special little boy. His name was Teddy. Teddy didn’t stay on this earth very long, but his Legacy very much lives on. Elle has done something extremely brave, extremely selfless, and extremely courageous; she has shared Teddy’s story, opening up the conversation, and letting other women who have endured such tragedy’s know that they are not alone, and their children have names, and deserve to be remembered, and spoken about.

I have followed Elle on Instagram for a few years now and what a delight she is! This sensational, beautiful soul has experienced the worst of the worst, the most soul shattering life changing experience I could possibly even begin to imagine. Yet she never fails to spread love and light, offering words of hope, gratitude, and her wicked sense of humour. I have no doubt she has dark days when her loss feels all too raw, and it would be easier to shut the world out, but her continuous strength shines through and is a beacon to all who follow her.

When Elle told us all that she had been working on a secret project, and finally revealed over on her instagram story with a very apt musical number, or 2 {and some very snazzy dancing (go check her highlights to see first hand what I’m talking about)}, that that was in the form of a book, I just knew I needed to buy it! Elle has done some truly fantastic work to raise money for St Peters; the NICU where Teddy was treated, as well as some fantastic charities such as Tommy’s – the baby charity. This book is no exception with proceeds from every book sold being donated to Tommy’s.

The book starts by setting the scene; an account of Elle’s life, growing up in a loving home, with her supportive parents and elder brothers, going on to work her way up the career ladder, to building a life in London, and then falling in love. Eventually settling down away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, in a beautiful Victorian home, (it really is- go check her instagram) in Surrey. As I have already said, I’ve followed Elle for a while now, but most of what I had seen of Elle, was present day Elle, as opposed to Elle before she became a mother. Elle and Nico did not have an easy time getting pregnant, but despite her PCOS diagnosis, she never lost sight, or faith in her dream of becoming a parent. These first few chapters really gave an insight into her life before she became a mother, and helped me feel like I knew her, and really appreciate the journey she has been on. To reference the Fresh Prince, (I’m sure she’d approve) it really is a story of how her life got flipped turned upside down.

To be completely honest there were several places in this book, where it was particularly difficult to read, and doing so was made near impossible, through the sobs, and tears that were falling from my eyes and pouring onto the pages. My heart physically ached reading about Teddy’s entrance into the world, and the events that would shortly follow. I’d like to tell you that it is in being a mother myself, or maybe being a mother has in fact made me more emotionally charged, but actually I do just genuinely believe that no human being would be able to read these very real turn of events in the chapters of this book, without feeling their utter devastation. To put what she endured into words, to share with her readers, and others who have endured such an ordeal, takes an insane amount of courage. And the way she has done it so poetically, pouring so much love into her words is commendable. But nor could I put the book down once I started. It would have been even more difficult not to keep reading.

I started reading this book on my holiday in Cornwall. It seemed appropriate, as Elle has always expressed her love for Cornish beaches, and will often post beautiful images of Teddy’s name in the sand. When I’m reading a book, the feeling I often encompass or will search for, is one of excitement and a sense of being uplifted. In the latter of the chapters in this book, I did certainly feel that, and feel a great sense of hope but predominantly the feeling I encompassed throughout ‘Ask Me His Name’, was an overwhelming amount of respect. Everything about this book commands respect. Respect for Elle, for her husband, for her family, for her friends, for anyone who has ever lost a baby, and most importantly respect for Teddy. Even in the physical act of reading the book, I wanted to give it the attention and respect that it deserved, so despite having bought it on it’s launch day, I stopped myself starting it until I was able to offer my full attention to it.

Reading Teddy’s story makes me wonder how many women are out there, scared to talk about the child they lost, feeling ashamed, feeling alone, feeling like it’s their dirty little secret that should be brushed under the carpet. For those women, Elle is speaking up, and I hope you have found your way to her. After reading this, I feel like I have a much better understanding about how to (or how not to) be a better friend to anyone in a similar situation. Of course, grief is different for everybody, but I agree that society has made us shy away from these kind of conversations, and the general public would rather avoid the conversation altogether, in order to protect themselves from feeling uncomfortable, than giving the person the opportunity to explain that actually, ‘No, they are not okay.’ Elle tells one story about being ‘kicked out of the of the Mummy Club’. Being made to feel isolated; ‘you can’t sit with us, because your baby died.’– reading those words, that that is how she was made to feel, really got to me. Human beings can be so very cruel. But hey, look at Elle now! She has a whole tribe of women who have her back, and I sincerely hope she is never ever made to feel that way again. As for Teddy, the main man, he deserves to be remembered, and talked about, and to be imprinted on people’s hearts, as he would have done had he of been able to grow; to just be a little boy finding his way in the world. What a wonderful mother he has, and because she refuses to hide in the shadows, Teddy’s legacy will live on.

So, whoever you are, if you are reading this review, I would highly recommend this book. Because despite the tragedy that unfolds, this above all, is a story of hope, a celebration of a life lived, and the mark that a little boy, who is very dearly loved, has left on the world. It is a story that will stay with you; with a mother’s strength that will inspire you, and a reminder to just be that little bit more appreciative or your own circumstances, but also sensitive to others.

You can purchase it over on Amazon following this link- Ask Me His Name – Elle Wright. -Remember that proceeds from every sale will go towards Tommy’s baby charity, working towards preventing others from having to endure the unthinkable.

And why not check out the wonderful, marvel of a mother, that is Elle Wright, for yourself! As said, she also has a keen eye for interior, is a bit of a fashion/ style queen, and has a fantastic sense in humour. Her stories regularly have me belly laughing. She’s an all round good egg, and I think there’s room for a Elle Wright in everybody’s life.

Instagram: Feathering_the_empty_nest

Blog: http://www.featheringtheemptynest.co.uk

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review, and feel inspired to read Ask Me His Name.

Thank you.

Lots of love

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