Julia Samuel has the ability to capture the attention of a wide range of readers in her writing about difficult and complex subjects, including readers beyond the profession of psychotherapy. This book is no exception in unpicking the theme of communication in families (“the relationship we can never leave").

The author explores in eight case studies how we communicate within families and how the way we have learned to communicate is inherited and influenced by past generations, for example the impact of trauma experienced by our grandparents. She explores with an expert, compassionate approach the dynamics of communication in various families including step-relationships; sibling relationships; the sometime challenges of same-sex parenting; when substance misuse impacts on communication; whilst gently revealing the importance of using conflict constructively and the important roles of humour and love and forgiveness.

As in her previous books, Samuel provides the reader with insights and tools that can be implemented, in this context to communicate in a healthier way in our own families. 

Throughout the book, the author reveals personal observations so that the reader warms to her, balanced by insights from the professional guidance she receives from her supervisor - reflections that inform lay readers, and add to the knowledge of professional practitioners. Every Family Has A Story is a book for re-reading that should be in every family home, and on every professional practitioner's bookshelf.

Book review by Elsa Browne.

The Prize draw to win the review copy of this book is now closed and the winner has been informed.