The World I Fell Out Of

By Melanie Reid, Foreword by Andrew Marr

The Sunday Times Bestseller

From the award-winning writer of The Times Magazine‘s ‘Spinal Column’: a deeply moving, darkly funny, inspirational memoir

‘It’s beautiful – full of love and light – and an exploration into not only how, but why we survive, despite everything’ Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

On Good Friday, 2010 Melanie Reid fell from her horse, breaking her neck and fracturing her lower back. She was 52.

Paralysed from the top of her chest down, she was to spend almost a full year in hospital, determinedly working towards gaining as much movement in her limbs as possible, and learning to navigate her way through a world that had previously been invisible to her.

As a journalist Melanie had always turned to words and now, on a spinal ward peopled by an extraordinary array of individuals who were similarly at sea, she decided that writing would be her life-line. The World I Fell Out Of is an account of that year, and of those that followed. It is the untold ‘back story’ behind Melanie’s award-winning ‘Spinal Column’ in The Times Magazine and a testament to ‘the art of getting on with it’.

Unflinchingly honest and beautifully observed, this is a wise and inspiring memoir about risk and dilemma, heroism and love . Above all, The World I Fell Out Of is a reminder that at any moment the life we know can be turned upside down – and a plea to start appreciating what we have while we have it.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 07 Mar 2019
Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-0-00-829137-2
Melanie Reid was an award-winning columnist at The Herald in Glasgow before reporting and commentating for The Times from Scotland and then on the Comment pages. Having broken her neck and back in a riding accident in 2010, she writes her Spinal Column in The Times Magazine every week.

”'Reading this will change you” - Andrew Marr

”'Searingly honest and frank … A very personal tale that makes you laugh and cry … captivating” - Telegraph

”'A generous, life-changing book … some of the most insightful writing on what it means to be human that I have ever read” - Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

”'She is perceptive — and lacerating — about the pressures felt by disabled people to be cured … Above all, the book is a plea to those still living with well-functioning bodies to be aware of what they have. To love themselves and relish their ability to dance, run, go to the lavatory without help. With serious disability can come wisdom and perspective, and Reid passionately urges fellow women to set aside their self-loathing and 'get out there and live'” - Sunday Times

”'This is an astonishing and riveting book … It is horrifying, certainly, frightening in as much as it shows how we are all skating, as it were, on the thinnest of ice which may break at any moment, plunging us into the darkest and coldest of deep waters; but also encouraging because it is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit - as well as to the care and expertise of our health service.” - Alan Massie, Scotsman

”'A vital, profound story shot through with insight and revelations. Melanie Reid has written the most important book of 2019” - Susanna Forrest, author of If Wishes Were Horses

”'Reid reveals with insight, candour and courage what it’s like to find yourself suddenly inhabiting a world that was previously unknown to you … a powerful, life-affirming memoir.” - Observer

”'Reid’s writing is excellent, beautifully paced and sometimes shockingly truthful. And my God, this woman is brave, not only for revealing all the gory details, but for questioning those tiresome platitudes about positivity. … Not a breath of fresh air, more of a hurricane.” - Kate Saunders, The Times