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When the Dust Settles

On sale

31st March 2022

Price: £19.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529358278

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Lucy Easthope lives with disaster every day. When a plane crashes, a bomb explodes, a city floods or a pandemic begins, she’s the one they call.

Lucy is a world-leading authority on recovering from disaster. She has been at the centre of the most seismic events of the last few decades, advising on everything from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami to the 7/7 bombings, the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, the Grenfell fire and the Covid-19 pandemic. In every catastrophe, Lucy is there to pick up the pieces and prepare for the next one. She holds governments to account, helps communities rally together, returns personal possessions to families, and holds the hands of the survivors.

In her moving memoir she reveals what happens in the aftermath and explores how we pick up and rebuild with strength and perseverance. She takes us behind the police tape to scenes of destruction and chaos, introducing us to victims and their families, but also to the government briefing rooms and bunkers, where confusion and stale biscuits can reign supreme. Telling her own personal story, Lucy looks back at a life spent on the edges of disaster, from a Liverpudlian childhood steeped in the Hillsborough tragedy to the many losses and loves of her career.

With wisdom, resilience and candour, When the Dust Settles lifts us up by showing that humanity, hope and humour can – and must – be found on the darkest days.

(P) 2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited


Never less than reassuringly humane... She shows and tells and, vitally, cares.
Sunday Times
An unlikely superhero... this gripping memoir is full of compassion. A remarkable insight into the decisions involved in disaster planning.
New Statesman
Easthope, whether she knows it or not, is that rare thing, a genuine philosopher thinking through what she is actually doing in the mitigation of human suffering.
The disasters recalled here often read like short stories, each of them filled with high drama, surreal twists and mysteries to be solved.
Mail on Sunday
'A remarkable account...This should be a dark and depressing read; that it isn't, that it is ultimately hopeful and uplifting, is down to the utter human decency that the author represents'
Sue Black
An essential, uplifting read, brimming with humanity, humility and humour.
Irish Times
An entirely unique vision of the human experience
Sunday Post
Candid, unsettling and darkly funny
Perspective Magazine
Poignant, funny, analytical and profoundly humane
Dauntless and forthright
Irish Business Post
Deeply humane, occasionally unsettling, and strangely uplifting
John Sutherland
A book of horror and hope, written with rare humanity.
Rachel Kelly
When the Dust Settles taught me is that all experiences are of value... Easthope shows us how perfection and imperfection are woven together. Everything is flawed. Yet there is also hope despite the flaws.
New Statesman
Her sensitive and profoundly moral book explores how human beings can preserve their resilience and live with loss.
The Critic
Rewrites your perceptions of the disasters and wars of our lifetime with vivid details and vignettes... laced with humanity and decency. A literary memento which honours the messy truth of life.'
Yorkshire Post
An inspiring memoir. Easthope advises, supports and helps to rebuild lives.
Jenny Colgan
A riveting no-nonsense memoir that pulls back the curtains on your worst fears and shows you that someone, somewhere, will always truly care.
The Bookseller
Outstanding... a graphic but deeply humane account of what drew her to take on such work, and how she steels herself to tackle the worst of human scenarios.