"Award-winning author Linda Phillips shares her journey from darkness into joy amid unspeakable grief in her poignant memoir, A Beautiful Here.
“Suicide remains a silent neglected epidemic.”
While this terrifying fact is something mental health professionals have to contend with every day, the quote has a different impact upon those who have lost loved ones to this muted disease. One such person is Linda Phillips, who lost her youngest son, Nuçi, on Thanksgiving Day in 1996. Nuçi was 22 at the time that he decided to end his life. There are no appropriate words to describe the mental and emotional anguish a parent goes through when they lose their child. Nonetheless, Phillips finds a way not only to turn her darkness into joy amid unspeakable grief but also to capture her emotional upheaval after Nuçi's death.”
"A Beautiful Here by Linda Phillips speaks of her son Nuçi's suicide, but it's also so much more than that. Linda discusses her own childhood with an abusive mother, finding the love of her life, raising her two wonderful kids and the events leading up to 22-year-old Nuçi's suicide on Thanksgiving Day, 1996. She also discusses the issues that people who face depression face, the way mental illness is looked at in our country by other people and by the medical world, and the reality of the cycle of abuse from unloving parenting. But the book isn't entirely negative - in fact, A Beautiful Here has a positive name for a reason. The majority of the book is genuine, heartfelt and even uplifting. While the pain of the loss of Nuçi to a horrific disease won't ever entirely go away, Linda found a way to honor her son by creating a nonprofit organization that gives musicians a place to be comfortable and free to express themselves while also making it easier and more affordable for them to get the help they need when they need it. About half of the book is full of Linda's journey to make Nuçi's Space (the nonprofit) a reality and all of the good they managed to do merely by being there to talk to and facilitate affordable treatments with great therapists."
-CataclysmicKnight, Online Book Club
"In A Beautiful Here, Phillips strikes just the right note. Her inescapable grief energizes the fight against the scourge that took her son. That effort is embodied in the work of Nuçi’s Space, and its motivating spirit glows from the pages of this mother’s manifesto."
“Linda Phillips tells how she made meaning out of the horror by courageously creating a safe gathering and referral center for young vulnerable musicians. You will be deeply touched by her determination to involve youth and community love and support...Nuçi’s Space, in honor of her son Nuçi, is the catalyst for saving untold numbers of young lives.”
-Iris Bolton, Author and
Director Emeritus, Link Counseling Center and
The National Resource Center Suicide Prevention and Aftercare
"This is an insider’s view of what it's like to face terrible loss. Linda Phillips has plunged into the emotional abyss and crawled back up the mountain of hope and healing…a practical yet moving guidebook for anyone who has been touched by the disease of depression and mental illness.”
-Kate Pierson, vocalist, The B-52s
“Linda Phillips opens her heart to tell the gut-wrenching story behind the place where “baby bands” practice and troubled young musicians seek help when they’ve run out of hope…For those of us who deal daily with mental illness, who are infuriated by the lack of coherent mental health policy, or who just follow the Athens music scene, this book is a deeply moving and important read.”
-Doug Monroe, Atlanta Magazine
"A Beautiful Here presents an unflinching and enlightening account of the pervasive stigma attached to mental illness and suicide, and a journey of complicated grief that is at once both deeply personal and remarkably universal."
-Alan L. Campbell, Counseling Psychologist
“Linda Phillips’ helplessness as the parent of a person suffering major depression illuminates the need for a much deeper understanding of this ever-present demon not only by society but also by our country’s hobbled health care system. She details her struggle to help her son, deal with her grief, and ultimately create a place to fill the Nuçi-shaped hole in the “goodness quotient” of her family’s life, a safe place for musicians to rehearse, seek mental health advice and treatment. As an Athens-based musician and adamant supporter, I have watched Nuçi’s Space for musicians grow into a vital and much loved part of Athens’ music culture.”
-Dave Schools, Bassist, Widespread Panic
“Nuçi’s Space broke through the formidable barriers that once existed for people suffering from mental illness in our small, conservative, southern town…it brought our thriving and diverse music, university, and medical communities together in ways that could serve as a model for other cities. It represents a compassionate, caring mindset…that reminds each of us that we are not alone.”
-Ben Mize, former drummer, Counting Crows
“A deeply personal yet universal account of loss, coping, and ultimately, healing through love and service….As with the community around Nuçi’s Space in Athens, GA, this book offers hope and connection to those who have lost it.”
-Susan Raeburn, Author and PhD Clinical Psychologist