"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
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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:
Tribute video made by Kadian's sister, Sam