Dear Abigail: A Letter to a Little Granddaughter by Richard H Rees is a wonderful book in which the author — husband, grandfather, and father — shares a journey of love and loss, navigating the currents of grief, and celebrating a family that suffers from a cycle of ovarian cancer. Richard and Rachel have loved each other deeply since their teenage years, getting married at twenty-one. In spite of their painful histories, they are bound by a love that complements the childhood years marked by hardship. After welcoming two lovely kids into the family, Rachel is hit by ovarian cancer — which runs in her family — and dies. Carys, their daughter, gets frequent screenings for ovarian cancer, but she is also diagnosed with it while pregnant and she doesn't live to see her baby, Abigail, on her second birthday. What will happen to Abigail? Will it be the same tale of separation from those she loves deeply?
This is a memoir that is beautifully written, in language that is enticing, and with a voice that touches the readers' hearts powerfully. The book is addressed to ''little sixpence,'' what ''Mummy-in-Heaven used to call'' Abigail, and the opening instantly introduces the readers to the intimate tone of this spellbinding narrative. It is the genetic life story of Abigail, a story that explores themes of love and loss, of grief and hope in a family. The book is brimming with realism and the author infuses the writing with a rare sense of humor, allowing readers sparkling glimpses of the alacrity imbued in human intercourse and the joy that punctuates the life of this family. I loved the way the threads that bind members of the family are written into the story, members that are both alive and dead, and the memoir leaves readers with one powerfully resounding message — love endures and the dead are alive in the memories they create with the living. Dear Abigail is a book that celebrates the humanity of those who have been loved by the author. It will bring tears to the eyes of readers and arouse lofty sentiments in their hearts. It is such a beautiful story of love, pain, and humanity.