BOOK REVIEW: A Long Way Home by Dan Jarvis
He’s battled, loved, lost and won again, in personal and public life, to prove all things are possible with true northern grit and determination.
Labour's Barnsley Central MP and the current Mayor of South Yorkshire – formerly Sheffield City Region Mayor – has announced he plans to continue as MP but will not be contesting the next mayoral election in May 2022
But, as he is quick to point out, his book is not about politics.
Long Way Home: Love, Life, Death, and Everything in Between, is about service and family.
He tells of his time in the British Army, in the elite Parachute Regiment, and how he dealt with the diagnosis and untimely, tragic death of his first wife, Caroline.
His autobiography is well described on the back cover by Alan Johnson, who says 'a belter about love, loss, courage and determination, told with his customary modesty which fails to disguise the amazing man behind the story'.
As a politician, Dan Jarvis is not done yet.
The 49-year-old former opposition frontbencher has often been tipped as a future Labour leader.
And though soldiering provides the backdrop to some of the book, what it is about really is the sub header...love, life, death, and everything in between.
It is about making decisions when under extreme pressure, about keeping calm, keeping going and keeping a smile on your face, at least most of the time.
Specifically, it is about the two biggest challenges he faced and the way he coped - taking on the Taliban in Afghanistan, and losing to cancer, at a tragically young age, his wife and mother of two of his children.
From the mortal danger and nerve-tangling fear of night-fighting in Helmand province to the aching heartache of bereavement, this is a unique and compelling memoir by a man of courage and character.
For a long time he did not feel ready or able to talk about it, but now more than a decade on he reveals all, after finding new happiness in a second marriage to wife Rachel, mother of his third child.
Winner of Best Memoir at the Parliamentary Book Awards 2020, the book is gripping and inspiring.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group