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"Heart-breaking … For a man in such raw, intense pain, Harding writes with incredible precision … Kadian Harding’s 14 years shine brilliantly from its pages … Thomas Harding has been generous in sharing his boy with me and I am grateful he found words." - -  Daily Telegraph

"This book is raw and heart-breaking 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 … A beautiful tribute." - - Sunday Express

"A memoir, a threnody and a love song" - - The Times

"Stunning. The most moving book I've read." - - Ian Austin MP

"Harding's remarkable memoir is written with transparent emotional intelligence. It makes one understand how it was for a father to lose a boy unique in his eyes and loved by everyone who knew him: Kadian."   - - Kate Kellaway Observer

"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 and Patron of Child Bereavement UK


To order the book (UK edition) click here

Publicity for the Picador (USA) edition email publicity@picadorusa.com

To visit the author's website go here's website go here


Book Summary


In July 2012 Thomas Harding’s fourteen-year-old son Kadian was killed in a bicycle accident. Kadian Journal is a diary that Thomas started in the aftermath of the tragedy. 

Beginning on the day of Kadian’s death, and continuing to the year anniversary, and beyond, it is a record of grief in its rawest form, and of a mind in shock and questioning a strange new reality. Interspersed within the journal are fragments of memory: jewel-bright everyday moments that slowly combine to form a biography of a lost son, and a lost life. 

It is an extraordinary document, and several things at once: a description of a family dislocated by sorrow, a forensic examination of a catastrophe, and above all else, an attempt to recover Kadian, in some way.

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking, C. S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed and Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave, Thomas Harding’s Kadian Journal is a lucid, raw, and startlingly brave book: a powerful and moving account of a father’s grief, and a beautiful tribute to an exceptional son.


Videos featured in Kadian Journal

To see some of the videos that are mentioned in the Kadian Journal, see below:

Kadian in car listening to Joan Armatrading

Tribute video made by Kadian's sister, Sam

Kadian's Liver Song

Kadian unboxing video for iPhone 4s

Tribute video made by Finn Mayhew

Finn and Kadian jump around Shepherdstown in reverse.