Carbon Under Pressure

Non-Fiction - Memoir
176 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2022
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Author Biography

‘Rose’ cannot speak out under her real name due to laws that forbid the public disclosure of certain information in her story. She faced three choices: stay silent; tell a lesser story; or share the raw and real events from her life in a new way. That’s when she found Meg Heart.

Meg Heart is a pseudonym. She is a voice for those who are silenced. The team at Meg Heart believe in the power of real stories to change the world. They support authors and story-tellers who want to break their silence and protect their identity.

Important stories often go untold. People like ‘Rose’ are silenced by laws. Others wish to protect the privacy of the ones they love. Meg Heart creates a safe space for their stories to be told. Her voice speaks for them.

Powerful stories about real events wake us up and ignite a conversation. They spur us on to create a better society. They might reveal our worst, but they inspire us to become our best. Silence imprisons. Truth sets us free.

Carbon Under Pressure is the first book brought to life by Meg Heart for an author who would otherwise remain silent.

‘Rose’ lives in anonymity, but she remains committed to the promise she made in this book: to do whatever she can to curb the epidemic of youth suicide raging through our community. She hopes Carbon Under Pressure will start a conversation about how we can do better.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite

Carbon Under Pressure by Meg Heart is a book based on real events. This emotional and moving story begins with Rose being awoken by her sixteen-year-old daughter’s sobs and tears. Rose was taken by surprise at her daughter's emotional breakdown as she was always cheerful. Rose's surprise and sleepiness leave her immediately, however, after hearing her precious Sophie say, “Mum I'm so sorry, I can’t do this anymore. Please forgive me.” Rose realized that fateful night that her cherished daughter had the weight of the world on her shoulders and that she was being crushed by it. Those sorrowful words would reverberate and echo in her life for a long time and they would forever change Rose's life.

Carbon Under Pressure is a story worth telling, and it was told beautifully. Meg Heart did a brilliant job of conveying the horror, disbelief, sadness, and despair that Rose experienced. Rose's ordeal was both gripping and emotional, so much so that I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two. Apart from the well-written story, another thing I loved about this book was how the author could convey strong feelings and emotions that various characters had in a few words, as that helped ground the whole story for me. The constraint that the author employed when traumatic events were being discussed was greatly appreciated as I, for one, find it hard to read through such passages in a book based on actual events. This book was such a roller coaster of emotions for me and at the end of it all, I was glad to read it as this book is the best true story that I’ve read in a long time. I’d recommend this book to readers with an interest in emotional true stories.

Viga Boland

Do you know what happens when heat is applied to carbon under pressure? The result is what readers will witness when they read about a mother and daughter, Rose and Sophie, in the brilliantly written memoir, Carbon Under Pressure. Based on true events, this unforgettable story from the Meg Heart Group in Australia has been ghostwritten to protect identities. Rose, the protagonist and narrator, is a successful business owner with a loving and devoted second husband. When her teenage daughter attempts suicide, Rose’s happy world collapses around her as she searches for an explanation that Sophie refuses to give. Rolled up in a blanket outside Sophie’s bedroom door and forever fearful of another suicide attempt, Rose berates herself: why didn’t she recognize the signs? Why does Sophie rage at her screaming, “I hate you”? Could she have prevented this? These are the often unanswered questions hundreds of loving parents ask themselves daily when their children are in crisis. In Sophie’s case, and sadly, even in my own life, the horrible answers are found where children should feel safest: in their own homes. That is why it’s so important that the voices of the Roses and Sophies be heard and believed, and that a book like Carbon Under Pressure be written and published. 

If readers take the time to visit the link, they will find a zoom-like promotional video for Carbon Under Pressure. There you can meet the talented ghostwriter of this memoir. She has done an incredible job of telling Rose’s heartbreaking story, of capturing her strength and her infinite love for her daughter. She has also subtly revealed the factors in Rose’s upbringing that affect her reactions and decisions about how to handle what is happening with Sophie. The entire story is delivered in a well-combined mixture of reflective narrative and dialogue and, when the reading is all done, those of us who have lived through similar life-altering hardships will identify with Rose and Sophie because we too are what one becomes when carbon is under pressure. Magnificent in so many ways!

Lucinda E Clarke

What a clever title Meg Heart chose for her book – Carbon Under Pressure. The apt words do not become clear until almost the end of the book, but as one disaster follows another the author shows amazing courage and resilience. Rose finds her daughter Sophie in a pool of blood, attempting to take her own life. We suffer along with Rose as she asks why her precious child no longer wants to live. Was it something she said? Why did she not read the signs? The gamut of emotions run riot, but at the same time, she needs to keep her daughter safe. Set in Australia where each year three thousand young people commit suicide, she embarks on the long journey to help her daughter recover. The failure of the justice system and the eventual truth causing Sophie’s depression and state of mind come as a shock. What do we as parents fail to see? Rose has amazing support from her second husband, Stuart (all names have been changed), but then tragedy strikes again.

In Carbon Under Pressure, Meg Heart takes us on a breathtaking roller-coaster ride spanning three years. How this mother held it all together is a miracle in itself, yet she tells her story without a hint of self-pity, rather self-questioning. All parents should read this book, and while I don’t want to give away any spoilers, it may give rise to signs that our children too are suffering while hiding their true intentions. Imagine your child telling you that s/he no longer wants to live. That’s what faced Rose and it turns her normal life upside down. Every minute of every day becomes a nightmare, wondering if her daughter Sophie is safe. How do you function living on a knife-edge? This book blew me away and I highly recommend it. This is one brave author I’m thrilled to give five stars.

Leigh Hearl

A fabulous review for such a powerful story. Thank you!