Tag Archives: Jane Barron de Burgh

Not All There by Jane Barron de Burgh #excerpt

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you an excerpt from Not All There by Jane Barron de Burgh.

Jane Barron de Burgh

This cover lends itself to all sorts of wonderment, doesn’t it?
Jane Barron de Burgh


Claude’s mother is dead.

Except she won’t stay that way.

She’s back with her family and none of them know what to do about it.

Is there a name for someone who is only sort of dead? And why does Claude feel like he’s the only one celebrating her return?

‘Not All There’ is a character study of grief and the people who experience it, told through the eyes of a bewildered child who struggles to make sense of the death of his mother, Mary and her re-emergence as a ghost.

Familial relationships are tested as Claude, Patience and their father try to answer the question – ‘What do we do about Mary?’


Claude didn’t experience his mother’s death first hand; in fact, neither Claude nor his sister Patience, nor their father had any firsthand experience of Mary’s death. Claude does not even remember how the news was broken to him.

It was simply, understandably, not a memory he wished to preserve and polish, instead just the act of leaving it dormant caused the memory to quickly grow faded. For it does not do to dwell on melancholy. For those who want to know, however, I shall indulge. John, Claude’s father, got the call with Claude beside him. There is a certain expression that falls across a father’s face, when something truly terrible has happened. It erases whatever was worn before it so completely that it can never be recaptured. I hope for your sake you never see that happen.

Claude was not so lucky. He saw the wide eyes, the shudder in his father’s shoulder, how his jaw froze as he tried to take a gasp of air; it whistled down his throat. Claude saw the look in his father’s eyes as they grew blank. His father looked down at Claude’s own searching gaze. Hooded eyes weighed with the heavy burden that said ‘I have to tell my children their mother is dead.’ To Claude the words were just confirmation of what he had already seen in his father’s face. As for his sister, Patience? Oh my, you should have seen how she cried. But this is not her story.

Claude had, very rarely, considered the possibility of his mother dying. Usually after discovering that a fictional hero he had been reading about was, despite their superpowers, motherless. It had never made him feel sad due to the fact it had seemed impossible. The only orphans Claude knew were the ones that existed between the pages of books, but now here he was, a half-orphan and to Claude the vexation of being a half-orphan was all the more tragic as it had none of the romanticism of being a full orphan.

There was silence at the hospital for few people know what to say upon the event of a death. It’s not going to be all right and being told that, isn’t going to help either. I’ll warn you now that time will not heal all, the magical properties of time do not extend this far. Personally, I’ve found that a day thirteen years later feels much worse than a good week thirteen months after the event. Beware the fluid and tempestuous waves of grief.

Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35617352-not-all-there

Buy Links: https://mybook.to/notallthere-zbt

About Jane Barron de Burgh

Jane Barron de Burgh

Jane Barron de Burgh is an Essex based author and poet. They graduated from the Open University with a Masters in English in 2022. They are a keen student of Oulipo and found poetry.

Published by Castle Priory Press, Not All There, is their first literary novella and deals with themes of childhood grief.

You can follow Jane at these links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janetheauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61556083952092

Twitter: https://twitter.com/makepeacelvjoy

Website: https://janebarrondeburgh.co.uk/

Jane Barron de Burgh