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A born rebel

Four days after she last saw her, Natasha Walter’s mother Ruth took her own life. The loss throws Natasha into a desperate search for meaning by examining Ruth’s peace-activist past and beyond

9 September 2023

9:00 AM

9 September 2023

9:00 AM

Before the Light Fades: A Memoir of Grief and Resistance Natasha Walter

Virago, pp.256, 18.99

A fundamental question is posed midway through this narrative by Michael Portillo. Speaking in his guise as a colourfully dressed TV presenter rather than politician, he demands of Natasha Walter as the cameras roll: ‘What did your parents actually achieve?’ They are standing in a nuclear bunker, the site of her parents’ most audacious stunt, but the implication of futility resounds throughout the book, probed most rigorously by their daughter.

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