Penny Mcdonald & Rebecca Zwitzer; Gem Productions, 2020 (p130) ISBN 9780473493387

This book is of a type and style I have never heard or seen before. It creatively offers someone in their later years, or who knows life is short, to record their thoughts in a book form for themselves and others to reflect upon.

The co-authors have both had life experiences that have provoked them to write this book. One instance was where a person recorded notes in a small notebook of their thoughts and instructions for others to read after they had died. In the other instance, the lack of anything recorded has left a gap of knowledge and reflection for those left grieving.

The authors have painstakingly considered and presented every possible aspect of recording someone’s thoughts. The six chapters cover: the life and legacy, treasured memories, thanks, the aftermath of death, nuts and bolts, and quotes. In this there is ample opportunity for multiple entries with several pages available to write in for each chapter.

Not everyone is reflective; however, Last Writes could be well used by many in differing situations. I’m sure we are all aware of people who have died with hopes and thoughts unexpressed because there was no format or option for them. This would be a very non-threatening way to approach this subject with someone who may well be hesitant in the first instance.

The presentation and formatting of Last Writes is outstanding. The artwork is classy and it is well laid out in a hardback edition. Time and skill have been used in this impressive book. It may not end up being a coffee table book. However, I’m sure it would be much appreciated by those who use it.

I see it as well worth using, but would say get in early to buy it so that you or your family are ready to see it and have their loved one record their thoughts and instructions.

Reviewer: Ross Banbury