The Butcherbird Sings by Julie Campbell

(11 customer reviews)


The Butcherbird Sings is a poignant account by Julie Campbell of how a devastating disease destroyed the cognitive faculties of Steve, her husband and the father of her children. Julie’s devotion to the great love of her life throughout his illness is beautifully told with heartbreaking honesty, and shows readers how far human loyalty and commitment can extend under duress.

In stock (can be backordered)

FREE SHIPPING when you purchase 4 or more items *AU only


What do you do when a neurodegenerative disease slowly robs your husband of his mind and dignity and all that he treasures in life?

 How do your children cope in the bizarre circumstance that their father no longer resembles the dad they adored?

 What do you do for the man you love, the one you can still glimpse buried deep within?

Julie and Steve had been happily married for years, busy running their own business and looking after their two children when Julie first noticed Steve having trouble with the planning of an overseas holiday. The moments of confusion soon turned into periods of memory loss, followed by hand tremors, disturbed sleep and loss of spatial awareness. Determined to get to the bottom of whatever is going on, Julie and Steve embark on a long frustrating journey of doctors, specialists and endless tests. When a diagnosis is finally given, Julie realises that this was not the end of the battle, but only the beginning of one she never imagined she and Steve would have to face.

 The Butcherbird Sings tells the story of living a nightmare when the basics of human communication dissolve, normal life functions disappear at random, the medical profession have limited knowledge, and where there is no compassion from our legal system for those who have to face such cruelty till the bitter end. It is also a story of hope and help.

11 reviews for The Butcherbird Sings by Julie Campbell

  1. Imelda Jennings

    The Butcherbird Sings is an incredible story, beautifully written. It traverses the extremes of both love and despair. But it is also a book of help; guidance; and living your best life. There is something for everyone in this book. I enjoyed it immensely and I hope lots of people read it.

  2. Elizabeth Coby (verified owner)

    I highly recommend The Butcherbird Sings. It is very well-written, and a book full of practical wisdom, especially for anyone facing scenarios where their situation is beyond the “norm”. I firmly believe it can inspire, help and encourage those who read it. Julie Campbell’s experiences, research, and knowledge, (whether you are a carer, a patient, a practitioner, a lover of life and learning), are extremely worthwhile. She has brilliantly folded her journey into a flowing and meaningful story, which will enrich and inspire those who share it with her.

  3. Mary Hogan

    The Butcherbird Sings is a book that you cannot put down once you begin to read it. It could be the story of any one of us. Life’s journey is thrown totally off-balance at a time when everything is happy and comfortable.
    Julie’s story is beautifully written. She shares her family’s very personal journey of living with a husband who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease.
    The family’s daily life is fraught with the trials and tribulations of medical tests, exploratory treatments, and natural remedies coupled with Julie’s role as a wife, full-time worker, and parent.
    The story of Julie’s wisdom, intelligence, perseverance, and devotion to doing everything in her power to nurture and support her husband is heart wrenching.
    You will cry but also laugh out loud as Julie and her children weave humour into stories that helped the family deal with the emotional rollercoaster of living with the insidious disease that inflicted Steve.
    The Butcherbird Sings is a book which personalises the story of a carer.

  4. Dianne Fowler (verified owner)

    I loved The Butcherbird Sings, I read it in 2 days! Beautifully written background, heartbreaking reality and positivity moving forward. With every page I wanted to keep reading on. Julie has chronicled so much of a terribly destructive disease with honesty and backbone. The love and devotion shown by everyone in the family is a tribute to them all. It was excellent as a story but also very well written for people in the same or similar situations, with a reference list at the end allowing people to access information that Julie found useful for both Steve and herself. I will be reading it again.

  5. sue masters

    I have just finished this beautiful book. The Butcherbird Sings is so well written that Julie is to be congratulated ❤️ it will open peoples eyes to the hidden stresses, guilt and daily struggles that everyone associated with this type of disease and others like it, have to go through . It certainly opened mine. ❤️ ?

  6. Cathy Martin

    I couldn’t put this book down . The Butcherbird Sings is a beautifully written memoir of a family dealing with the most insidious of diseases . It’s so insightful and educational with a rawness that is to be applauded . This book and its story is something that will stay with me and will be recommended repeatedly – it’s such an eye opener for all of us . The devotion and love Julie has put into not only caring for her husband but researching and searching for answers and natural therapies is phenomenal and so inspiring .
    Thankyou for sharing your very personal journey .

  7. Jillian M Bowles

    The Butcherbird Sings draws you into a world of contrasts. The happily ever after is is tested to its very limits as a family realigns itself in the face of a debilitating illness. This book demonstrates the true meaning of love and devotion. Julie tells her story beautifully with warmth, compassion and an insight into her journey of self discovery and personal growth. A book you can’t put down and memories that linger long after the final page is read.

  8. Sandra Armstrong

    In Julie’s book, The Butcherbird Sings, she takes us on an intensely personal journey through the world of those touched by CBD. The book is much more than a recount of how this insidious disease robbed her of the love of her life and her children of a devoted father. It is a story of deep love, relentless commitment and hope, survival, and healing. The story is beautifully crafted. I could not put the book down and read it in a couple of days. I was left in awe of Julie’s strength, her compassion and her ability to research and apply knowledge ensuring her soulmate Steve, had the best quality of life through all stages of his illness. The book is confronting at times, always honest and intensely interesting. I highly recommend The Butcherbird Sings to everyone, whether you have had the misfortune to experience neurodegenerative disease or not. Its message of loyalty, love and commitment is not to be missed.

  9. Gaye Sprenglewski

    Raw honesty, compassion, frustration and love are just some of the emotions experienced by Julie Campbell’s family during her husband’s sad decline.
    The ordeal that the Campbell family endured raises the old question: why do bad things happen to good people? Life seems so cruel and senseless and, on the surface at least, callously random, and yet Julie has found some uplifting moments and deeper understandings.
    Julie’s beautifully-written, intelligent and heart-breaking memoir spans the years of her early life plus Steve’s illness. From it has emerged a strong message of hope and renewal for all of us to absorb. It is an un-putdownable read.

  10. Dan R. Brooks

    Julie Campbell writes a beautifully descriptive and caring book about her husband’s experience with a neurodegenerative brain disease. She reflects on the impact on Steve’s life and losses, but also describes articulately her own journey through this arduous struggle and how their son and daughter were affected. An excellently written book, with both medically relevant information and spiritual insights. I found it helpful as a patient with a similar brain disease. I congratulate Julie on a wonderful book, and wish to recommend it highly to patients and carers, alike.

  11. Barbara O’Brien

    A truly inspirational book. Julie Campbell’s strength, compassion and devotion to her family shines through in this book as she describes how she and her family coped with her husband, Steve’s, relatively unknown and progressive brain disease (CBD). The book is written so beautifully that you feel you are right there with Steve and Julie, experiencing their every day struggles and occasional triumphs. It is also a book every medical practitioner should read in order to understand what families go through, what support they need, and perhaps open their minds to new ideas.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.