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If You Sit Very Still

If You Sit Very Still

Marian Partington | Marina Cantacuzino


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Book Details


In 1994, 21 years after her disappearance, Lucy Partington's remains were discovered in Fred and Rosemary West's basement at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester. In this powerful and lyrical book, Lucy's elder sister, Marian, reclaims Lucy from the status of victim and finds an authentic and compassionate response to her traumatic loss. Her inspiring narrative of healing draws on Buddhist and Quaker practices and culminates in restorative justice work in prisons.
An outstanding and beautifully crafted redemptive memoir.
Marina Cantacuzino, Huffington Post
There is not a sentence in this book that has not been felt, fought for and hard won.
Craig Brown, Book of the Week, The Mail on Sunday
If You Sit Very Still should feature on everybody's bookshelf alongside such life guides as Shakespeare and the Bible.
Jeffery Taylor, Sunday Express
An anguished, gruellingly honest and lyrical cry from the heart.
Human Givens Journal
We are spared no aspect of the anguish, confusion and anger experienced, but are also told an extraordinary story of inner movement and growth - growth in a faith much less orthodox on the face of it than Lucy's ardent Catholicism but equally deep and serious. It is a book about the massive difficulty of anything like reconciliation in the wake of outrage. There is nothing easily consoling here, but rather a sense of stillness, acceptance and hope - both given and worked for.
Rowan Williams, Book of the Year 2012, Times Literary Supplement
This is not a story of 'coping with loss', nor of 'overcoming emotion', nor less of 'achieving forgiveness'. It is the story of simply, doggedly and patiently refusing to accept the path of victimhood, revenge or bitter resentment. Instead Marian has walked the way of uncertainty, humility and hope which, through spiritual struggle and human kindness, accepts and transforms sadness, loss and evil.
Stephen Cherry, author of Healing Agony: Re-Imagining Forgiveness
Marian Partington was born in Oxford in 1948. She has been working with The Forgiveness Project as a storyteller and facilitator since 2005. Marian lives with her husband in Montgomeryshire, Wales.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
If You Sit Very Still by Marian Partington 5
Preface 7
Foreword by Marina Cantacuzino 11
Prologue 1
Crisis 7
Chapter 1 - Disappearance 9
Chapter 2 - The Not Knowing 23
Chapter 3 - Unearthing 39
Chapter 4 - Re-earthing 53
Confessing 63
Chapter 5 - Enfolding the Dark 65
Chapter 6 - Finding a Voice 83
Comprehending 95
Chapter 7 - Peeling Away the Layers 97
Chapter 8 - Fresh Earth 111
Chapter 9 - Suffering and Healing 129
Transforming 141
Chapter 10 - Lucy's Woven Bag 143
Chapter 11 - Words of Grace 159
Epilogue 171
Notes 180
Acknowledgements 185