It was my boyfriend Arif, travelling in Zimbabwe, who found the mahogany pod. A few weeks before he died, he gave it to me. We were both 24, crazily in love, about to lose each other for good. More than two decades later I sat down to write the story of our relationship, and The Mahogany Pod was the result, published by Saraband in 2021.


Watch a video of me talking to Cathy Rentzenbrink about love, loss and writing

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Jill and Arif in Wales.jpg

Praise for The Mahogany Pod

‘A rich and tender book, The Mahogany Pod is a haunting tribute to a life and to a companionship, a testament to the power and beauty of love which transcends death.’ Horatio Clare

'The Mahogany Pod is a work of literature: beautifully written, meticulously structured and heart-rending... A reminder that time does something more complicated than heal.' Kate Kellaway, The Observer

‘What I love about this affecting and beautifully written memoir is how it examines the long tail of grief, and how bereavement can last a lifetime, even when in the eyes of the world, you have "moved on".’ Editor’s Choice, The Bookseller



‘Written in elegant, lucid prose that comes straight from the heart, The Mahogany Pod is a deeply moving and compelling read.’ Frances Hedges, Harper’s Bazaar


'An uplifting story of embracing love no matter how dark the circumstances, about buidling a life even after the worst has come to pass.' Dan Townend, Daily Express

‘A searingly beautiful memoir of love and loss, grief and joy.’

Wyl Menmuir


‘A compassionate, heartbreaking and uplifting description of love. Spellbinding.’ Catherine Simpson, author of When I Had a Little Sister