Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

join us on facebook
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

Late Fragments Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life) by Kate Gross

Late Fragments Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life)

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

Diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer as a young woman, Kate Gross was destined never to see her children grow and mature, leave behind a much loved husband and lose all the possibilities that life and work can bring. She began to write for herself but her writing turned into an exploration of this new person she had become, how a terminal diagnosis can take away but also give knowledge that life is so precious and that we can achieve joy amongst the tragedy. Aged just 36, Kate Gross died on Christmas Day 2014. ~ Sue Baker

Like for Like Reading

There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You, Lynda Bellingham

Now and Forever, Bernie Nolan


Late Fragments Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life) by Kate Gross

*THE NUMBER 1 BESTSELLER* What are the things we live for? What matters most in life when your time is short? This brave, frank and heartbreaking book shows what it means to die before your time; how to take charge of your life and fill it with wonder, hope and joy even in the face of tragedy. Ambitious and talented, Kate Gross worked at Number 10 Downing Street for two British Prime Ministers whilst only in her twenties. At thirty, she was CEO of a charity working with fragile democracies in Africa. She had married 'the best looking man I've ever kissed' - and given birth to twin boys in 2008. The future was bright. But aged 34, Kate was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. After a two-year battle with the disease, Kate died peacefully at home on Christmas morning, just ten minutes before her sons awoke to open their stockings. She began to write as a gift to herself, a reminder that she could create even as her body began to self-destruct. Written for those she loves,her book is not a conventional cancer memoir; nor is it filled with medical jargon or misery. Instead, it is Kate's powerful attempt to make sense of the woman who emerged in the strange, lucid final chunk of her life. Her book aspires to give hope and purpose to the lives of her readers even as her own life drew to its close. Kate should have been granted decades to say all that she says in these pages. Denied the chance to bore her children and grandchildren with stories when she became fat and old, she offers us all her thoughts on how to live; on the wonder to be found in the everyday; the importance of friendship and love; what it means to die before your time and how to fill your life with hope and joy even in the face of tragedy.


'The most honest, beautiful, heart wrenching and eye opening book I've ever read. I will keep reminding myself of Kate Gross's words and her story'
Fearne Cotton

'Raw, honest, yet unexpectedly positive ... A warm and oddly uplifting read. Gross is funny in the darkest moments of truth. Neither falsely upbeat nor purposefully dramatic or tear-jerking, the book brings Gross to life'

'Shows you how to live life to the brim ... boy, does [Kate's] writing have pulse. Clear-sighted and cold-eyed, her sentences are light as leaves and she was as wise as a magi ... When [her twins] wonder about their mother, here she will be, bold and brave, caught on the page in all her wonderful vitality'
Mail on Sunday, 5

'This book could make you rethink the way you live your whole life ... there is a sense of wonder, a determination to live and love with her whole heart in the little time [Gross] has left ... Funny and sharp and celebratory
Sunday Express, 5

'A joyful act of love ... witty, always serious, but rarely solemn. Her prose is grounded, unshowy and blessed with a casual poetry ... To read this book is to learn what can be snatched back from death ... it is vividly, beautifully alive
Robert Webb, New Statesman

'It is extremely difficult to write on this subject evocatively, but without sentimentality ... [Kate] treats herself as a case study, a bystander with a story to tell. The effect is readable, engaging and enriching ... To do that as your final act is amazing'
Daily Telegraph 5

'Gross writes with steadfast, exquisite skill and although this remarkable book is hard to get through without a box of hankies, it is also one of the most galvanising you are likely to read all year - READ IT AND LEAP

'With her lucid prose and piercing perception she is as much of a loss to the world of literature as she is to politics ... Should be mandatory reading for every adult, urging them to fight the human impulse to take life in all its richness for granted'
Daily Express 5

About the Author

Kate Gross

In 36 years Kate Gross achieved more than most. Eventually though, the cancer which she fought so bravely took her on Christmas Day morning in 2014. She lived in Cambridge with her husband Billy and their twin sons Isaac and Oscar. Before her cancer, Kate read English at Oxford University. She joined the civil service and worked in Number 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. On leaving, she set up the Africa Governance Initiative, a charity which works to rebuild structures of Government in post-conflict Africa. She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her work. She blogged regularly - - about her illness and the Last Post is from Kate's mother. Kate wrote there in more medical detail than she has done in her book - Late Fragments - which is almost entirely free of any medical jargon or writing on the nature of cancer. It is a book instead about life.

Author photo © John Lawrence

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

27th August 2015


Kate Gross

More books by Kate Gross
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Loading twitter updates...


William Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


256 pages


Biography / Autobiography
The Real World

Coping with illness & specific conditions
Coping with death & bereavement



Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick