The Book

Wrestling with the Angel  -  Conscious living, loving and dying.

There’s nothing like a short life sentence to wake you up. Leukaemia is a powerful teacher but a terrible foe.

This is a story of love and conscious awakening. Nick and Amanda found themselves on a journey of discovery, travelling with hope, wonder and open hearts through the dark places, the ones most people seek to avoid, towards growth and self-realisation.

Together they tried to live creatively, honestly and consciously, sharing their sometimes difficult thoughts and feelings, seeking ways to make sense of the huge challenges that this life-threatening disease was bringing into their lives.

More than just a physical problem, this level of illness changes everything. It affects the mind, emotions and spirit, and requires a wide range of support and healing wisdom.

Whoever wrestles with such immense difficulties - a wrestling that is more of an intense and intimate dance than an angry fight - will be profoundly affected and transformed.

In one way this is simply a love story with a sad ending. Nick and Amanda love each other but she has leukaemia which threatens her life and makes everything more intense. 

Beyond that it can be read at deeper levels, as it reveals what are often confusing and difficult thoughts and feelings about love when the going is hard. Being a lover and a carer while maintaining your own existence as an idividual all at the same time is hard.

Then there is the deep level of wondering about the significance of illnesses, how to find meaning in what seems so harsh and cruel. And what happens as we die, what is the experience of dying while still awake, and how can that be bearable?


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What Readers Have Said

• I am not a great reader but I didn’t put this down until I had read it all. I couldn’t. I was captivated by the situation, the raw honesty and the inner question ‘how did they cope or deal with that?’ It was easy reading. Immediate and simple. At the end of the book I felt I had expanded into a huge black vastness of unknowing and stayed present and safe throughout.

• This is a story of our time, where facing hard truths and being honest, creative and resourceful are called for and bring forth previously unknown strengths. This book is about living as much as it is about dying. If I say it is a joy to read that might sound strange - and yet there is something uplifting about being alongside River and Amanda in their journey - a sense of living life to the full and to the end, a beautiful poignant and sad end, enriched by presence and love.

• I found this book intensely moving and it opened my pragmatic mind to the possibilities of our inner lives and the human spirit.

• It is an exceptionally personal account which thereby enables a depth of contact with Amanda's process, with River's journey within himself in the face of Amanda's illness and ultimately with the reader.

• I am finding your thoughts and experience helpful as I am having to handle my mother in her rapidly failing health and in particular her anger.

• River King's honesty in admitting selfish feelings and a need to escape from his all-enveloping role as lover and carer will, I think, reassure others that this is a normal human reaction and does not mean your love is insincere.

• This is greatly useful for all of us aspiring to live our lives fully and with attention to spirit.

More Information

There are  reviews on Goodreads and the publisher's website

You can also read a few personal notes  about the author.