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Book of the Month
If You Sit Very Still
By Marian Partington
This is about the journey which followed the disappearance of Marian Partington’s 21-year-old younger sister, Lucy, in Cheltenham in 1973 and the subsequent discovery, in 1994, that Lucy was one of the young women tortured and murdered by Fred and Rosemary West.
Marian Partington walks us through her Buddhist path and Quaker experience – the two are not mutually exclusive, but she crafts the book in the shape of the fourteenth-century dream vision, Pearl, which Lucy had in her bag the night she disappeared.
The title of the book comes from a dream Marian had four months after Lucy’s disappearance: when Marian asked Lucy where she’d been, Lucy replied: ‘I’ve been sitting in a water meadow near Grantham,’ and then, with a smile: ‘If you sit very still you can hear the sun move.’ Marian was filled with a sense of that peace which ‘passeth all understanding’. Marian says the image remains deeply significant and real. She speculates there may be a place where we all share the same dreams.
Marian Partington pulls no punches with herself, nor with the reader. Her honesty about herself is brave and startling. This is not at all for effect, but to illustrate her experience that we have to be absolutely truthful with ourselves about our own darkness before we can, in reality, begin to forgive and heal.