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“If you get the chance to read this shatteringly beautiful evocation of family relationships, grief, death

and most exquisitely – love –

grasp it with both hands.

In a word it’s breath-taking.”


author of ‘The Naming of Bones’



If you read A Song Inside and can think of someone it might help, do please tell them about it. And if it’s touched you, perhaps write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. You can do even if you bought it elsewhere.

This short film of home videos of Sam was played at the launch of 'A Song Inside'.

This is a story about love.

‘You are a song inside me now, a melody that stirs and bursts into life when I think of you.’

In this heart-breaking, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting memoir, Gill remembers her life with the boy and young man who enchanted and infuriated in equal measure. Sam saw colours where others saw grey. He made people feel alive. His unvanquishable spirit sings out as Gill reflects on the joys he brought, the difficulties of his struggles with schizophrenia, and the impact of his death.

Part journal, part journey into the past, and part conversation with Sam, in this beautifully written memoir Gill thoughtfully and tenderly reveals her relationship with her son, both before and after his death. A Song Inside explores universal issues of love and loss to reveal how we can move forward and find happiness again, without leaving behind the people we have lost.

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“This beautifully written and tender tribute to a beloved son is full of sadness but also of love. I learned a lot from it.”


author of the Sunday Times bestselling memoir 'The Last Act of Love'

“A Song Inside is a tribute to the quiet heroism of motherhood, the celebration of difference, the heartbreak of loss. I loved this book for its unflinching honesty."


author of ‘Another Woman’s Child’

"Gill Mann's poignant and beautifully written memoir is as much about the impact of Sam's life as it is about his death, as much about family as it is about one young man. It overflows with enduring love and will resonate with anyone who has ever grieved."


author of 'Scratched Enamel Heart'

“In Gill’s gentle and loving hands, her son’s story sings and blazes a trail for all who have loved and lost.”


author of 'The Moment'

Sam's story is that of many young men: different, troubled, beloved and lost. His mother's story, and the family's, is all their own but will raise echoes for many of the process of memory, understanding, and resolution.


radio presenter, journalist and author

“Schizophrenia remains greatly misunderstood. By telling the profoundly personal and deeply moving story of how it changed the life of her son and her family, Gill illuminates the truth of the disease.”

Oscar-winning director of 
'The White Helmets'

"A Song Inside is both moving and honest; ultimately, Gill Mann has written an uplifting love letter to her son."


author of 'One Scheme of Happiness'

Gill Mann has written an affecting memoir about the loss of her son.


award-winning author of 'One Day'



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Gill Mann has always loved writing but has only recently considered publishing her work. She has had a long and varied career, starting her working life as a solicitor and becoming a partner in a law firm.

In her early forties she re-trained as a professional photographer, becoming an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, before deciding to return to university when she was in her late forties to study for a Post-graduate Diploma and Masters degree in Psychodynamic Counselling. She now works as a therapist.

It is her interest in and understanding of people that informs her writing. She writes mainly from life but has more recently turned to fiction, starting work on a collection of short stories based on the theme of therapy.



Reading for Retreat West Books

Gill has recorded a reading of a short excerpt from A Song Inside, together with a brief introduction. Listen to it here.

Episode 12 -The Uncertwenties by Karis Chloe

ReadingThe Uncertwenties
00:00 / 04:05

A Song Inside was featured on Karis Chloe's podcast, The Uncertwenties. You can listen to Gill reading the opening few pages of the book here.

Good Morning Marlow, 23/10/2020

Good Morning MarlowMarlow FM
00:00 / 39:18

Local radio station Marlow FM invited Gill onto their morning show, 'Good Morning Marlow', where she was interviewed by Jill and Rhiannon. You can listen here.

Book Launch, 22/07/2020

Gill's virtual book launch including several readings from the book, a Q&A with fellow author, Claire Dyer, and a wonderful film of Gill's son Sam, made from home videos.



  • FINISHED Good Grief Festival
    Online Event
    30 Oct 2020, 09:00 – 01 Nov 2020, 21:00
    Online Event
    Gill is appearing at the festival as part of their 'Grief Chats' programme - a series of intimate conversations between two guests who have both experienced the same type of grief or loss, hosted by writer and broadcaster Mark Lemon. Click 'RSVP' to register for this event!
  • FINISHED A Reading of A Song Inside
    Gallery At Home
    08 Oct 2020, 14:30 – 16:00
    Gallery At Home, LLancayo Court, Llancayo, Usk NP15 1HY, UK
    A reading and signing of 'A Song Inside' for Mental Health Awareness Week at Gallery At Home - all proceeds from ticket sales go to Mind. Click 'RSVP' to buy your ticket for this event!
  • FINISHED The Good Grief Project: Active Grief Weekend
    Manifold Farm
    26 Sep 2020, 07:00 – 27 Sep 2020, 17:00
    Manifold Farm, Matlock DE4 5GG, UK
    Gill is the counsellor at an exclusive residential retreat designed to help those grieving the loss of their child work creatively with their grief.
  • FINISHED Wokingham Library Author Profile
    Online Event
    24 Jul 2020, 18:00
    Online Event
    Interview with Wokingham Library about my new uplifting memoir A Song Inside which depicts the life of my son Sam, his struggles with schizophrenia and the impact of his death.


This short film of home videos of Sam was played at the launch of 'A Song Inside'

Do Not Stand at My Grave and WeepSam Roberts
00:00 / 02:01

In this poignant recording Sam is reading 'Do not stand at my grave and weep’ by Mary Elizabeth Frye.


He is 13 years old and the reading, which is set to the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth symphony, was recorded at my father’s funeral in 2005.

Slideshow of Sam, 1992-2014