Starfish: One Family's Tale of Triumph After Tragedy
Tom Ray, Nicola Ray

Starfish: One Family's Tale of Triumph After Tragedy

This is a love story. This is a war story.


One night in December a young couple, living in a quiet country village suddenly find themselves embroiled in a battle against an enemy that will threaten to rip their marriage, their family, their entire lives apart.


Pneumococchal Septicaemia: it's like a panther, creeping quietly in the shadows, then pouncing and devouring: brutal; tearing limb from limb; efficient;total.


It is a true story; told from two highly individual personal perspectives, including extracts from diaries written at the time. Nicola was 9 months pregnant with their second child at the time the disease struck and had the heart breaking task of giving birth in the same hospital where Tom was having surgery to revise amputations to his limbs. How do  break that kind of news  to  a 2 and a half year old? How do you get  her to  visit the father she adores who looks like a monster?


It’s about Tom’s childhood as well as his illness, showing how the challenges he faced plunged him into a fight to prevent a history of Paternal  desertion repeating itself. The unique thing is that Tom has emerged from this experience able to tell his own story, with clarity and extreme self-knowledge.


This is the story that inspired the 2016 feature film 'Starfish' featuring Tom Riley (Da Vinci's Demons, The Collection) as Tom and Joanne Froggatt (Golden Globe Winner, Downton Abbey) as Tom and Nic. 


Book Details:

  • Author: Tom Ray, , Nicola Ray
  • Published Year: 2017
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: John Blake
Tom Ray,

Tom Ray,

“I was born in December 1961 in Shoreham, Kent. My Dad, who was an actor and a scriptwriter, deserted the family in the early 70's leaving my Mum to bring up 3 kids on her own in the Southend and Essex badlands. I grew up in a world of black & white TV, Green Shield Stamps and Jungle Book at the Odeon. Fun was going down the fields to play football with friends, while the musical soundtrack was provided by The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John & Top Of The Pops. Saturday pocket money was spent on The Beano comic, a Caramac chocolate bar, Black Jack & Fruit Salad Chews. The...
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Nicola Ray

Nicola Ray

I was born Nicola Anne in December 1961 in Peckham, South London, where my Dad  worked for Lambeth Council and my Mum was a shorthand typist. I'm an only child and spent my early years surrounded by a huge (Dad was one of 14) mob of aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents. There was a 'knees up' every Saturday night and we  would listen to the Archies' 'Honey Honey', George Formby and Benjamino Gigli. There was lots of singing and especially dancing, at the drop of a hat, any old excuse. Dad,  who had been a psychiatric orderly during National Service,  took jobs in ru...
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