The Owl at the Window

A Memoir of Loss and Hope

Author: Carl Gorham

Reviewed by Sandra Oakley

Last month, in a UK newspaper, I came across an intriguing article, written by Carl Gorham, entitled “How a Mummy Made of Cardboard Brought New Life to My Daughter.” This article is well worth reading in its own right and it convinced me to order The Owl in the Window for the ESCA CancerSupport library.

In his beautifully expressive book Carl Gorham writes a moving, uplifting and sometimes hilarious account of how he and his then six-year-old daughter Romy rebuilt their lives as they grieved for their beloved wife and mother, Vikki, taken from them much too soon. He worried that Romy “was bottling up her feelings after her mother died. But when she asked him to ‘make’ Mummy from cardboard boxes, it was to prove a breakthrough.”

Carl writes poignantly of the worries of a single father with a young daughter, his attempts to help her to express her grief, and his openness to her request make a cardboard mummy, whatever misgivings he may have been experiencing at that moment. Suffice it to say that cardboard mummy was just what Romy needed to help her manage her immense feelings of loss.

It is a wonderfully touching and uplifting book, which will makes the reader cry and laugh in equal measure.