Where to start? Lets go to the beginning.
Natalie Queiroz was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed by her partner in the most vicious attack imaginable.
In the space of nine minutes, and in broad daylight, Natalie was stabbed twenty-four times with a carving knife. She suffered horrific wounds to her lungs, liver, stomach and uterus, whilst the knife missed her baby by a margin of two millimetres, before the arteries in her wrists were methodically severed by the hooded attacker she finally realised was her partner and the father of her unborn child.
After heroic intervention by passers-by and police, the attack was brought to an end, but her ordeal was not over. An air ambulance rescue was launched, and against all medical odds, Natalie and her baby survived – but not without life-changing physical and emotional damage.
Still Standing is the story of one life-shattering event – what came before that fateful day, what happened on it, and how one woman and her baby survived to rebuild and heal together after it. At once a shocking story of evil, manipulation and violence, and a truly moving reminder that a life can be pieced back together, no matter how bad the damage, this book will empower and inspire anyone who has ever faced true adversity to rise up and stand tall.
Firstly, I’d like to say what an honour it is to be hosting such an incredible author and review on my blog today. I’m not sure a book has ever moved me more – and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt the range of emotions I did whilst reading a book. Ever.
I closed this book at the end and wondered how I was ever going to write a review that would do Natalie’s journey any justice at all. I decided the best, and only way, I could do it was to be completely honest about my feelings. I wrote this review straightaway as I didn’t want my feelings to dissipate at all between finishing the book and putting pen to paper.
I’m guessing a lot of people will already know Natalie’s story. Well, you’ll know what you’ve seen on news reports and read online. I’m loath to go into too much more detail here and I’ll tell you why. Natalie survived this attack and had the strength to write her story. It deserves to be read cover to cover. In fact, I’d say that whilst it’s an incredibly difficult and harrowing read, it’s also quite a necessary and very important one.
Still Standing is written in a conversational way – like Natalie is speaking to us all individually. She’s telling each and every one of us her story over a cuppa. Natalie also writes in such an honest way and I presume there was a certain amount of catharsis that came with the brutal honesty. I hope there was. Due to this, I read the book in two days. Any breaks I took were purely because I needed to close the book for a while to get some fresh air and properly think over what I’d just read. I think anyone who has read it already will understand that feeling.
Still Standing … How? How is she still standing? How did she physically and emotionally survive, keep her tiny baby alive and then manage to put it all down on paper to share with us? How did she find the strength to go on to rebuild her life? I asked myself these questions SO many times, even after I’d finished the book I still questioned where she got the strength from. The conclusion I came to is – she survived because she’s a mother and she knew her kids needed her around.
I see this book as a story of survival. Yes, that survival is born from a terrifying ordeal and a brutal place but I no longer think of the attack itself when I think of Natalie. I think of the survivor that came out of it.
Natalie Queiroz is the survivor of one of the most appallingly brutal attacks imaginable. After being stabbed two dozen times by her partner when she was eight months pregnant, she has rebuilt her life and inspired people the length and breadth of the country with her courage and refusal to be bowed by her trauma. Alongside a successful full-time career, she has since become a motivational speaker and, through various feats of endurance and daring, raised thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity she owes her life to.
Twitter : @natqleigh
Thank you so much to Anne Cater for bringing this book to my attention. I won’t forget it in a hurry. Thank you also to Natalie for writing this moving memoir and telling your story.
Still Standing is available for purchase right now.
You’ll find it here