Pretty Books & Review: This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart by Susannah Conway

4 stars, non-fiction, pretty books, review, self-help
4 Stars
Non Fiction
5th June 2012

Part memoir, part creative journal, This I Know chronicles Susannah’s journey through bereavement and healing, taking the reader on a ride into the possibilities of unravelling — and healing — her own life too. It’s a guidebook of sorts, a collection of thoughts and theories, with creative exercises for you to try, and dreamy light-filled Polaroids dotted throughout the text. It’s a cosy blanket for your heart.


I’ve had This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart since not long after it was released, I think I actually pre-ordered it. I read the first half of This I Know when I first got the book but it made me cry a lot because the first half of the book is about Ms Conway dealing with the loss of her significant other and how it was a shock and how it effected her, and there were some many things that Ms Conway said that hit home for me after the loss of my Dad.
Because of that it took me a long time to be able to pick it up again to finish, partly because I was worried it would make me cry some more and partly because the first half of the book touched me in such a way that I wasn’t sure the second half would be as good. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about because the second half was just as good and also didn’t make me cry but I found the second half so inspiring.

This I Know is oh so beautifully written, Ms Conway has such a magnificent way with words that at times can be truly magical. I wondered when reading if I found Ms Conway’s writing of This I Know to be magical because Ms Conway is writing from her heart and her writing shows the truth that she feels. There are also some truly beautiful pictures that Ms Conway herself has taken to go with the book. Which I think makes it that This I Know that much more special.

I’m not really sure how to categorise This I Know as there’s so much more to it than just a book about grief and loss and the journey of moving forward. Ms Conway writes about her work as a photographer and living and moving away from London. About her family and her love for her sister and her sister’s little boy, which is yet again another beautiful element to the book. Neither is it really an autobiography or a self help book. But what ever people have categorised This I Know as it’s a wonderful and inspiring read. I think everyone should read it, whether they’ve lost a loved one or not.

The second half of this post is about showing you why This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart is one of my super pretty books.
*Warning: A heavy picture post*

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  • I love the cover for This I Know, it’s so colourful and eye catching. It’s something that catches your eye and draws you to the book. Even without the dust jacket on I think the book is very pretty. It’s so simple and I like how the text is all in lower letters and the contrast of the red wording against the cream book. 
  • I’ve already stated that I think Ms Conway’s writing it pretty epic but I love the way the words are spread out in different way’s throughout the book. Whether it’s just by the use of a page break in the text or the use of different and inspiring quotes and different font sizes for the different chapters or the way parts of the text are used again on the photographs.
  • I love the pictures that Ms Conway has herself taken and used in the book. There are lots of different formats that Ms Conway has picked to highlight certain pictures and I think they all look wonderful. From a full page spread to half a page picture to just the use of polaroid pictures. I also love that she’s used old and new photos for her book.
  • Overall, I think This I Know is a very pretty book and I’m so happy to have it sitting on my bookshelf.
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