The Sunday Times bestselling memoir about nursing and an urgent call for compassion and kindness
*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week*
An astonishing memoir about nursing and an urgent call for compassion and kindness
`It made me cry. It made me think. It made me laugh. It encouraged me to appreciate this most underappreciated of professions more than ever' Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt
`A remarkable book about life and death and so brilliantly written it makes you hold your breath' Ruby Wax
Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.
We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient's agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.
In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.
About the Author
Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. She worked in a variety of healthcare settings, but spent most of her career in paediatric intensive care in large NHS hospitals before becoming a resuscitation nurse. Christie now teaches and writes and advocates for nursing. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was also published to international critical acclaim. Her works have been translated into eighteen languages.
"If it's taken a very long time to get a memoir written by a nurse, then it was certainly worth the wait. I have rarely read anything that has moved me as much or taken me by the hand so confidently into an unknown world, teeming with life and haunted by death... A remarkable book that I will be pressing on everyone I love" -- Allison Pearson * The Sunday Telegraph *
"A powerful insight into the life of nurses" -- Robbie Millen * The Times, **Books of the Year** *
"It made me cry. It made me think. It made me laugh. It encouraged me to appreciate this most underappreciated of professions more than ever ... A gently remarkable book... it's a privilege to have Christie as our guide" -- Adam Kay * Guardian *
"Wonderful" -- Sebastian Faulks
"A deeply compassionate book... It will leave you weeping as well as hopeful" -- Helen Davies * Sunday Times, **Books of the Year** *
"An amazing book -- terrifying at times, but tender and truthful. Let's be thankful for wonderful nurses -- and writers -- like Christie Watson" -- Jacqueline Wilson
"Compared with the recent rash of doctor memoirs, this is a far quieter and more thoughtful book" -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian, **Books of the Year** *
"I challenge anyone to get through all 336 pages without shedding a tear for what those who work in "the most undervalued of all professions" have to witness ... Expect her stories [...] to linger with you many days after the final chapter" -- Jackie Annesley * The Sunday Times *
"A remarkable book about life and death and so brilliantly written it makes you hold your breath" -- Ruby Wax
"A poignant and powerful account of what it's like to be a nurse. It's a profession that touches all our lives delivering expert and compassionate care from the cradle to the grave. A must-read for nurses and those interested in understanding the true art and science of nursing" -- Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England
"Lyrical, moving ... Watson tackles grisly deaths and eccentric patients, but also the importance of comfort and empathy in nursing with engrossing results ... A nurse's voice has never really been heard before on this scale. Now's the time for it to ring out loud" * Stylist *
"A wise and tender book, by turns fierce, compassionate, and revelatory. It shows the joys and the difficulties of looking after people at their most vulnerable, and makes an urgent plea: as a society we have to care better for the nurses who care for us" -- Dr Gavin Francis, author of Adventures in Human Being
"A touching and thought-provoking memoir that makes an impassioned plea for the appreciation of the nursing profession ... [Watson] is an elegant, eloquent writer who brings an immediacy to her work. You are right there beside her all the way as she provides a fascinating insight into the trials and triumphs of life in an NHS hospital ... A rallying call for kindness and compassion that every one of us should embrace" -- Mernie Gilmore * Daily Express *
"There's one woman who is particularly inspiring me right now.... Christie Watson, who wrote this book called The Language of Kindness... She was an NHS nurse and it is an autobiographical book and it is absolutely breath-taking and it is incredibly affecting and I think it highlights the need for us to be helping nurses where we can. She just is an incredibly strong woman" -- Emilia Clarke
"Through Watson, we are taken on an absorbing, all-seeing tour through the doors of the hospital ... In Watson's honest memoir, we are reminded that we are all made from the same fibres and are all in this together, exploring the human condition and learning the language of kindness" -- Molly Case * The Observer *