Beyond the High Blue Air

Lu Spinney

RRP: £8.99

5 January 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782398899

RRP: £14.99

5 May 2016

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782398875

RRP: £6.99

5 May 2016

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782398882

Aged 29, Lu Spinney’s son Miles suffered a devastating head injury and was left in a coma. With unflinching honesty, Lu Spinney has written a passionate, urgent account of the years following her son Miles’s accident, revealing his existence imprisoned in a limbo of fluctuating consciousness, at times agonizingly aware of his predicament.
With unfailing honesty and courageous prose, Lu Spinney’s memoir explores the very nature of self and the anguish of witnessing Miles’s suffering as she and her family come to realise that, although he has been saved from death, he has not been brought back to a meaningful life.


My heart is being ripped out by Beyond the High Blue Air ... It's a devastating, important memoir that fills me with love for the author, Miles and his siblings.Cathy Rentzenbrink

Lu Spinney has a tragic story to tell. The circumstances are unique. But what she expresses - disbelief, hope, anger, dismay - is universal. And the ethical questions she raises are vitally important. Most important, she writes beautifully.Blake Morrison

This profoundly moving and grippingly readable book brings to mind The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby.
The Sunday Times

Impossible to read this eloquent, heart-breakingly well-written record of a mother's loss without realising that the people you love are all also standing on the precipice edge Lu Spinney describes so well.Francis Spufford

This book is a work of the highest literary skill and heroic courage born out of what for most would be unendurable, and wholly silencing, maternal pain. To read it is to feel, sympathetically, both that pain and admiration for the woman who has written so eloquently through it.John Sutherland

Beautifully written... What is striking and remarkable about this is how movingly Spinney manages to get inside her son's mind... Highly recommended
The Bookseller

A courageous story... a tribute to maternal strength, understanding and love that forces us to question our preconceived ideas about humanity.
Literary Review

This unflinching look at what happens when death is prevented but life is not worth living is heartbreaking and important.

This is not an easy book. Spinney's eye is unflinching and she spares us nothing in this increasingly hopeless tale... Doctors and lawyers need to read this book and think about the impact of unsuccessful life-saving interventions... we have no plan of what to do with bodies that house damaged brains, or how to cope with the philosophical and emotional difficulties inherent in caring for someone who is there but not there.Cathy Rentzenbrink
The Sunday Times

Rivetingly written
The Sunday Times

Lu Spinney's account of her son's vegetative condition after a snowboarding accident and the cruellest decisions a mother can be confronted with. Exquisitely written.John Sutherland