Rachael Newham is an author and mental health advocate who bravely shared her own story of struggling with depression and suicide as a teenager in her previous book Learning to Breathe (SPCK). Her new book, And Yet, is not a memoir but a guide to building a rhythm of lament and joy into our everyday lives.
Following the liturgical seasons – Advent (waiting), Christmas (celebrating), Lent (lamenting) and Easter (hoping) – Newham explores how each celebration is “preceded by a time of lament and reflection”. She tracks the significance of each season, unpacking their themes and covering much biblical ground as she goes. There is a sense that the insights shared have been hard won.
The book’s title reflects how we hold our future hope in tension with our present realities. As Newham expresses in her chapter on lamenting: “‘Yet’ changes everything, not just because it’s a change of direction, but because it is a reminder that our situations, our pains, are not final.”