A Sunday Times Book of the Year
'Riveting, clear-sighted and exceptionally articulate... Her literary and psychoanalytic fluency gives the book an impact that feels arrestingly honest... Heartbreaking' Daily Telegraph
'This is a fierce, lyrical, and lucid memoir that asks agonizing questions about guilt, innocence, and judgment and reminds us how difficult it can be to untangle one from the other' Siri Hustvedt
'Powerful, spare [and] striking' Observer
'Unique and haunting' Sunday Times
'What gives this book its astonishing power is not the guilt, but the intelligence and literary skill. Beautifully structured... Rausing sets the scene with painterly delicacy and then steps back to analyse the implications of what she has revealed' Guardian
A searingly powerful memoir about the impact of addiction on a family
In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint the editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing, tries to make sense of what happened to her brother and his wife.
In Mayhem, she asks the difficult questions those close to the world of addiction must face. 'Who can help the addict, consumed by a shaming hunger, a need beyond control? There is no medicine: the drugs are the medicine. And who can help their families, so implicated in the self-destruction of the addict? Who can help when the very notion of 'help' becomes synonymous with an exercise of power; a familial police state; an end to freedom, in the addict's mind?'