Saturday 26 July 2014

Book Review of Suicide Song by Wanda Hartzenberg


A third-year law student struggles to ensure his death is as existential as he can make it but the Womburu won't let him. His parting marked with a song leaves tragedy in its wake. Maybe he knew something none of us do.


Suicide SongSuicide Song by Wanda Hartzenberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very poignant short story, which deals with an unsettling and upsetting topic, and follows a young man who meticulously plans and executes his suicide. It is based on a true event.

This story was very touching and left me feeling a little emotional, as I have known people who have taken their lives in the belief that they are worthless, and the world would be a better place without them. This is not true. Every person on this planet has a worth - self worth. But due to bullying, self loathing, low self esteem and/or depression (either due to emotional or financial issues), many people falsely believe that no one cares whether they live or die.
I was devastated when I found out that the two people I considered friends ended their lives. I wished I had known that they were in a dark place. Unfortunately, I had not, and so was unable to help them. My one question will always remain as "Why?". Taking one's own life is never a solution to a problem. It just creates bigger problems for the family and friends who are left devastated, and wondering if they could have helped in some way.

If you, or someone you know, has been bullied, hates yourself/themselves or suffers from depression and has contemplated ending it all, I would seriously recommend seeking help. There are several organisations and charity groups, not to mention family members or friends, who would be willing to listen, even if they cannot completely understand what you/they are going through.

Although this story is based on a true event, Wanda Hartzenberg has written a deeply philosophical take on the subject of suicide. I found her writing to be very descriptive and almost lyrical in it's presentation. Her story, though short (only 5 pages long), sure packs a rather large emotional punch, and, with the inclusion of lyrics from Neil Diamond's song "Hello Again" made me picture the scenes with chilling clarity. This is her debut story in the writing world, and I am looking forward to following her career with interest.

I highly recommend this story to everyone. - Lynn Worton

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