Kerry McPhail

This is both a memoir and a long love letter from Kerry McPhail to her husband Jim who died of Hepatitis C, leaving her a young widow. The book never falters into sentimentality. Kerry’s narrative voice is strong, blackly funny and bluntly truthful as she describes Jim’s desperate early years, his youth spent on the mean streets of Glasgow, his drug addiction and his long, cruel illness. The thread that pulls it all together is her love for him and the postcard descriptions of the years they spent together – head-over-heels in love, teasing, laughing and perfectly matched. Kerry’s story will make you laugh and weep.

Kerry has written a wonderful book that tells an astonishing story… a fitting tribute to a remarkable man and the woman he loved.
— Professor William Rosenberg, University College London

This book is no longer available to purchase from Linen Press.

SKU: 0010 Category:

About this book

Time is so precious now. Summer slinks away, leaving behind an empty husk of itself. We wander round the common and I lean against the old oak tree. Jim takes my photograph, smiling at me long after he has clicked the shutter. Our unspoken thoughts honour the fact that he knows and I know. Fate has given us an impossible, beautiful, priceless gift and placed it in our hands. We hold the knowledge of our own fragility.

Jim McPhail is a survivor. His childhood is one of soul-numbing poverty; his adolescence lived amongst drug dealers on the mean streets of Glasgow. But at his lowest ebb, he turns his life around. He enters rehab, kicks his addiction and finds his soul-mate. Fate then deals its cruelest card. Jim is diagnosed with advanced Hepatitis C.

The story of Jim’s roller coaster life, told here by his wife Kerry, is a tribute to the power of love and the will to carry on and rejoice no matter what life hurls at you. Told with throw-away humour, respect, wit, poignancy and longing, Kerry offers this fine tribute to the man she loved ‘more than life itself’.

All author royalties are being donated to the British Liver Trust.

About the author

Kerry McPhail adores writing and is often found in the cafés of her native Portsmouth avidly typing on her laptop.

ISBN: 978-0-9559618-7-8
Published: June 2011


“Utterly beautiful and utterly devastating. Kerry McPhail’s poetic tribute is testimony to the ferocious allure of life.”
— Giles Broadbent, Editor, The Wharf

“Kerry has written a wonderful book that tells an astonishing story… a fitting tribute to a remarkable man and the woman he loved. It presents a breathtaking account of Jim’s path into addiction, the tragedy of his life as an addict and his recovery and redemption. It will provide comfort, hope and inspiration to everyone who reads it.”
— Professor William Rosenberg, Peter Scheuer Chair in Liver Diseases, University College London

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