An astonishing memoir about nursing and a call to arms for compassion and kindness
Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A and E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.
We watch Christie with a new mother holding her premature son who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side as she spends many hours watching agonising heart and lung surgery, 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 there by your side. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages you to stretch out your hand.
About the Author
Christie Watson was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. 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 fifteen languages. She lives in London.
"An amazing book -- terrifying at times, but tender and truthful. Let's be thankful for wonderful nurses -- and writers -- like Christie Watson" -- Jacqueline Wilson
"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 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
"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
"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 *
"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" -- Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing
"Christie Watson is a remarkable writer turning her attention to a crucially important conversation. This book is eloquent, moving and searingly relevant to all of us" -- Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
"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 *
"This beautiful memoir - tender, informative, unflinching, every sentence filled with compassion - has reminded me that when I have felt most alone I am, of course, not alone at all" -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
"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 *
"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
"Remarkable, unforgettable... This page-turning account of how nurses routinely dig deep into their souls to dispense care and compassion in increasingly challenging conditions also packs a massive emotional punch... A remarkable reflection on care, empathy and compassion" -- Caroline Sanderson * Sunday Express *
"An eye-opener ... written with real tenderness" * Good Housekeeping *
"A highly intelligent writer bringing all her narrative skills to bear on a profession in which she spent 20 years ... what emerges time and again is that nursing is about so much more than medicine ... Christie Watson is a wonderful writer. But I can't help thinking she was an even better nurse" -- Melanie McDonagh * Evening Standard *
"Watson writes so well, movingly but sparingly, that the result is a profoundly vivid impression of working in a busy hospital" -- Jessamy Calkin * The Daily Telegraph *