New Island, €7.99

'A Page in the Life' offers a varied - sometimes funny, sometimes poignant - look at today's Ireland, as told in the words of many different people, who last year decided to share a small part of their lives with the Irish public.

When Marian Finucane invited her listenership to write in with their stories from everyday life, she probably didn't expect the sheer scale of outpouring on paper that resulted, as people from all walks of life put pen to paper and recorded their innermost feelings and thoughts on a wide range of subjects.

Some of the stories are witty little vignettes of the trials and tribulations of everyday life, covering every subject from speed-dating to the funny things that children say, oblivious to their ability to wound or inspire. Other stories delve into the suffering and grief often endured by the human spirit, as people offer their stories of loss, guilt and bereavement. All of the stories offer a hugely personal insight into the things that motivate the various people in their lives and impact upon them as they journey through everyday life.

Among the collection of tremendous stories is a touching tale by Linda Richardson, entitled 'The Graveyard'. Written straight from the heart, it captures tragedy, never-dying love and the difficulties involved in moving on after a huge event rocks your world. It is poignant, heart-breaking and extremely witty at the same time - a brave and honest insight into one person's pain and their inspirational courage.

Among the other fascinating stories are 'Shiny Things' by Ailish Connelly, 'The Small Town' by Carole Zabbal, 'Real Life' by Joseph Sweeney and 'The Student Party' by Dylan Bradley. But there are so many wonderful stories in this collection, stories from the young and the old, the troubled and the jubilant - stories to really make you think about life.

With all proceeds from the sale of the book going towards the Irish Hospice Foundation, this is not only a worthwhile buy for the great cause it is supporting, but because of its wealth of knowledge and the inspirational words that flow so readily from one story to the next. 

Linda McGee