Biographies & Memoirs

Grief in the Van: An Adult Orphan, A Cat and A Tiny Home-On-Wheels


This book will launch on Feb 26, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Loved it! 😍

This book is a travel memoir and one woman's journey through grief–I enjoyed it so much, I didn't want it to end.

The two things all of us have in common are life itself, and eventual death. There is no order and there are no answers to when or how either will happen. In her memoir, Grief in the Van: An Adult Orphan, A Cat and a Tiny Home-on-Wheels, Victoria Clayton shares the story of her raw grief after the death of both of her parents. She writes, “I mostly wrote about my feelings but that was tricky too because it’s hard to find the words when there aren’t any.” There is no handbook for grief like this, but Victoria offers a window into what it was like for her to go through the motions of this painful experience. And she did it while living in a van with her cat.

On the one hand, we gather so much from our friends and loved ones as we maneuver through the different stages of life, but what do we do when our closest human connections die and leave us to fend for ourselves? This book is beautifully written. Her stories of dark days juxtapose effortlessly with the lightness of traveling through Australia’s landscapes, both good weather and bad. Peppered with stories about her mother and father, the balance of wanting to honor her grief and find happiness after their deaths is palpable.

This book is a must-read for anyone who is grieving a close family member. It’s chock-full of useful insights on all of the mixed-up feelings and complexities of dread, withdrawal, shame, wariness, carelessness, distress, and anger–and the peculiar things we do because we can’t let go. This book could make a great companion for want of someone to relate to. I wish I had this book to read several years ago. Victoria’s memoir fills a gap on the subject of grief and by successfully writing on this challenging topic, she now has a beautiful record of her parents’ lives and leaves the reader feeling genuinely connected to her story.

Reviewed by

Reading is my passion. I'm a proofreader who specializes in Western Fiction, Action & Adventure, and Romance. As a reviewer on my downtime, I enjoy Historical Fiction, Cozy Mysteries, and Memoirs. I love armadillos, hiking, swimming, and going on road trips in my camper van.

Raw Grieving Days

About the author

I was born in the UK and grew up in Melbourne. I have been a field archaeologist in the Middle East and Australia and an English teacher in China. I love travel, reading, museums, libraries and archaeology. I live in a Van somewhere in Australia with Dougal, the cat, and I write about all of it. view profile

Published on November 19, 2020

80000 words

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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