Reviews and Press

Cathy Rentzenbrink Best-selling author of The Last Act of Love, A Manual for Heartache and Dear Reader

Ninette is a beautiful writer and it is a joy to spend time on the page with her. Dear Tosh is a brave and engaging story of how to carry on when the worst happens.

Vesna Goldsworthy author of the memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries, and Gorsky a novel. 

Dear Tosh is a deeply affecting memoir.  Writing with great courage, honesty and tenderness, Ninette Hartley creates a wonderful memorial to her lost son.

Catherine Simpson author of When I had a Little Sister

Dear Tosh contains a bereaved mother’s letters to her lost son which echo with love, grief, compassion and humanity. They are written with elegance and honesty, and although full of deep sadness, also contain joy and gratitude for the life that was. Dear Tosh demonstrates that no one is truly gone while they are still loved and talked about. Uplifting and beautiful.

Christopher Wakling author of six acclaimed novels including:  What I Did, The Devil’s Mask and On Cape Three Points.

Dear Tosh is a searing account of a mother’s grief.  The beautiful, sad letters are an unflinching, heartbreaking account of a parent confronting the most painful of all possible losses.  But they’re also laced with honest humour and shot through with a love that is, ultimately, uplifting.

Jan Scott Pre Reader

A powerful exploration of the grief experienced through the loss of a child, handled in a sensitive and positive way, using family history as a healing balm. Brought me to tears at times, but the writer’s positivity shines through the letters she writes.

Gail Aldwin

is a novelist, poet, screenwriter. Her debut novel The String Games was a finalist in The People’s Book Prize 2020

As you might expect, this memoir has a conversational quality captured through its epistolary structure – the author’s letters to her deceased adult son. There is a charming rhythm to the narrative which is touching, personal and reflective. Ninette Hartley cleverly juxtaposes the experience of lockdown with memories of the life and untimely death of Tosh. There are echoes of earlier losses including Ninette’s father (who also died from an accident) when she was thirteen. Some events are so raw they can only be captured through poetry. This memoir is a tribute to Tosh and it is also a story of remarkable, generous and unending love