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Join Ailsa Piper with her new book "For Life", a memoir of living and dying - and flying.

Book cover for Ailsa Piper's For Life

An unforgettable and moving insight into loss, hope and starting again, aided by the incredible healing power of nature and a community of unexpected angels.

After I swim, I watch an osprey hanging in mid-air. If those who came before really do dissolve and dissipate, and if their cells really are all around us, then that bird is held there by Mum and Peter and billions of others of the long-dead. The osprey is kept aloft by absences. Perhaps I am too.

When her husband doesn't answer his phone, Ailsa Piper knows something is wrong. She calls their neighbour, and minutes later, he rings back. 'Oh, Ailsa. I'm so sorry,' he says. Five words to change a life.

Wanting to flee her shattered world in Melbourne, Ailsa migrates north to Sydney. She makes a nest. She learns to swim. She walks the harbour cliffs to the lighthouse, meeting the locals: winter swimmers and shoreline philosophers.

But we never leave our past behind. Ailsa is drawn back south, and even further back, to the west's aqua waters …

About the author

Ailsa Piper's first book was the travel memoir Sinning Across Spain. Then came The Attachment: Letters from a most unlikely friendship, which was co-authored with Tony Doherty. She has written for radio and theatre, and her script Small Mercies was co-winner of the Patrick White Playwright's Award. Ailsa also worked as an actor and director for many years and is an accomplished audiobook narrator.

Organised in partnership with Constant Reader Bookshop.