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.
"It is very hard to describe the essence of nursing but Christie's story captures it. Through her powerful writing the true value of the nurse becomes clear"
Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing
"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
"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 ”
"An engaging and authentic portrait of modern care ... Through Watson’s inclusion of relevant statistics and historical facts, as well as her meticulous observation skills, readers will better understand the value of nurses ”
"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 ”
"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
"An eye-opener ... written with real tenderness ”