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Breaking & Mending

by Joanna Cannon

Biography / Autobiography Lifestyle and Health Mind & Body - books to help you be better Star Books

LoveReading View on Breaking & Mending

A thoughtful, sometimes emotionally painful, yet unforgettable medical memoir I feel everyone should read. Our expectations of our medical and emergency teams are high, we trust, we rely, we hope. When a best-selling novelist, with the most beautiful way with words, tells the story of her time as a junior doctor, you just have to sit up and listen. Each chapter begins with thoughts from different people and roles within the medical profession. Joanna Cannon opens her arms wide and lets you in to her story, her way with words ensures you can see a full and vivid picture. Heartbreakingly honest, we see how she is overstretched, twanging like elastic that is on the point of completely fraying. A number of times her words resonated so strongly, they gave me goose-bumps. She not only made me look with different eyes at our medical practitioners, she also made me think about my own thoughts and words. I don’t think I will ever forget her “we each measure words with different scales”. Breaking and Mending is a LoveReading Star Book... I smiled, I cried, afterwards I sat and hugged it!

Liz Robinson

Breaking & Mending Synopsis

In this powerful memoir, Joanna Cannon tells her story as a junior doctor in visceral, heart-rending snapshots.

We walk with her through the wards, facing extraordinary and daunting moments: from attending her first post-mortem, sitting with a patient through their final moments, to learning the power of a well- or badly chosen word. These moments, and the small sustaining acts of kindness and connection that punctuate hospital life, teach her that emotional care and mental health can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat.

In a profession where weakness remains a taboo, this moving, beautifully written book brings to life the vivid, human stories of doctors and patients - and shows us why we need to take better care of those who care for us.

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Breaking & Mending Press Reviews

I tore through Breaking and Mending... frank, emotional and compassionate -- David Nicholls One of the most beautiful books you will ever read -- Kate Mosse Joanna Cannon's powerful, moving memoir of her time as a junior doctor is so good. -- Nina Stibbe Now a best-selling writer, Cannon's stories of her time as a junior doctor explore how humans can give each other hope and compassion in even the darkest of moments. -- Jameela Jamil - Stylist

The story of the struggling NHS has been told in several excellent books recently, and this is among the best. We need to listen. -- Katy Guest - Guardian

In Breaking and Mending, [Joanna Cannon] brings her literary talents to her previous career in a memoir brimming with her trademark compassion and psychological insight. ... What sets Cannon's book apart is not just its humanity and wisdom but the novelist's keen observational eye. Cannon is a chronicler both of the human condition and the quotidian details - the clothes, the tics, the sights, sounds, smells and ephemera - which speak to who we are. -- Hannah Beckerman - Observer

Before she became a novelist, Cannon worked as a doctor. Here, she recalls her days on the wards in the most moving way. -- Anna Bonet - Red

This raw and emotional memoir ... is full of depth and insight, and made me so grateful to all those who work in healthcare. -- Nina Pottell - Prima

Powerful, shocking and intimate all at the same time -- John Boyne I will be buying Breaking & Mending today and you should too -- Adam Kay, author of THIS IS GOING TO HURT A deeply moving, thought-provoking memoir written with true compassion and intelligence -- Nathan Filer All doctors should read this - and patients too. Emotionally wise and beautifully written -- Jill Mansell Cannon is on her way to becoming a national treasure - no one does quirky, funny and soul-searing the way she does - Emerald Street

There is so much compassion in this memoir, so much kindness and empathy. But there is also anger at the way the caring profession doesn't seem to care for those who work in it. It's a heartbreaking read but it ends on a hopeful note. -- Eithne Farry - The Sunday Express

A book driven by kindness and hope. It's a rare view into a strange and challenging word. -- Kerry Fowler - Sainsbury's Magazine

Fascinating read -- Lucy Atkins Breaking & Mending is one of the most moving, compelling books I've ever read -- Marian Keyes Has all the makings of a highly charged novel, complete with unsavoury characters: the registrar who abandons the newly qualified Cannon mid-shift to go on holiday, the consultant who shouts and spits on her during a meeting. And there is plenty of tragedy, as she writes frankly about how difficult she found it to maintain professional distance from her most heartbreaking cases. Ultimately, though, hers is a hopeful story ... this NHS memoir is well-paced and often beautifully told. -- Lucy Knight - Sunday Times

Wonderful -- Jill Mansell Breathtaking -- Louise Doughty There's an admirable ballsiness to Cannon. She whistleblows. She wears her heart on her sleeve. Plainly, she wants to nurture mental health in others and seeks to expose the stress, ridiculous workload and lack of pastoral care she experienced in medicine ... She writes lyrically, with a novelist's verve and colour -- Melanie Reid - Times

It is a breathtaking book ... Cannon's narrative skill here is subtle yet tremendous ... Cannon does language expertly, describing not only how to live, but why. I imagine she was the kind of doctor that surely all doctors should strive to be: human, honest, questioning, and (carefully) kind ... Joanna Cannon's story is beautiful. Here's to the wild cards. -- Christie Watson - Telegraph

Intimate, delicately constructed and as absorbing as it is arresting - i Paper

Intimate, delicately constructed and as absorbing as it is arresting -- Sophie Morris - Scotland on Sunday

'One of the most beautiful books you will ever read' Kate Mosse 

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788160582
Publication date: 02/07/2020
Publisher: Wellcome Collection an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781782834526
Publication date: 02/07/2020
Publisher: Wellcome Collection an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Ebook

ISBN: 9781788160575
Publication date: 26/09/2019
Publisher: Wellcome Collection an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788160582
Publication date: 2nd July 2020
Author: Joanna Cannon
Publisher: Wellcome Collection an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 176 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Lifestyle & Health, Mind & Body, Star Books,
Collections: Our Favourite Books of 2020,
Categories: Memoirs, Medical profession, Health systems & services,

About Joanna Cannon

Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. She lives in the Peak District with her family and her dog. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep is her first novel.   Below is a Q&A with this author Borough Press’ Charlotte Cray interviews debut author Joanna Cannon about her beloved characters in The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and what it is about writing that sparks her mind and her heart.1.    Your child narrator Grace is distinct and charming, and in her best friend Tilly ...

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