From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Your Life in My Hands comes this vibrant, tender and deeply personal memoir that finds light and love in the darkest of places.
As a specialist in palliative medicine, Dr Rachel Clarke chooses to inhabit a place many people would find too tragic to contemplate. Every day she tries to bring care and comfort to those reaching the end of their lives and to help make dying more bearable.
Rachel's training was put to the test in 2017 when her beloved GP father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She learned that nothing - even the best palliative care - can sugar-coat the pain of losing someone you love.
And yet, she argues, in a hospice there is more of what matters in life - more love, more strength, more kindness, more joy, more tenderness, more grace, more compassion - than you could ever imagine. For if there is a difference between people who know they are dying and the rest of us, it is simply this: that the terminally ill know their time is running out, while we live as though we have all the time in the world.
Dear Life is a book about the vital importance of human connection, by the doctor we would all want by our sides at a time of crisis. It is a love letter - to a father, to a profession, to life itself.
|Publication date:||3rd September 2020|
|Publisher:||Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
Rachel Clarke weaves together an account of her training as a doctor who came to specialise in palliative care, the stories of her patients, and her father's death in Dear Life. I read it while coming to terms with the death of a family friend, and found it full of honesty and tender wisdom about life and the process of dying. It managed the brilliant and paradoxical feat of helping you love life a little more and fear death a little less -- Matt Haig - Guardian
An NHS doctor interweaves heartwarming stories of palliative care for patients in a hospice with memories of her beloved GP father - Guardian
Arguably the most remarkable book of the year - The i
A heartbreaking, exhilarating read - Guardian
Honest, clear-sighted and immensely wise, Clarke's book is laced with loss, yet raises a jubilant toast to life - Literary Review
An enthralling and deeply affecting book . . . It is [the] blend of the personal and professional that makes Dear Life so special - Express
Moving . . . an honest account from the front line of death - The Times
A magnificent, tender book - Independent
Her words are brimful of love, grace and kindness - Guardian
She writes with a tender, lyrical beauty - Sunday Times
Heart-wrenchingly tender - Observer
Dear Life names the tension between love and risk that gives life its sweetness. It takes readers to the edge of life in supportive, wise company A touching and profound meditation on what it means to be human . . . it is a remarkable book - Guardian
Moving, thought-provoking and so very important. I'm immeasurably grateful to have read it, and it will stay with me. In death, we learn about life A truly beautiful book about death and life and the price of love. Told by a doctor, with compassion and wisdom. I cried, but they were warm, comforting tears. It made me think about stuff I fear in a new and better way A truly wonderful book. Read it What a remarkable book this is; tender, funny, brave, heartfelt, radiant with love and life. It sings with joy and kindness This is a wonderful book. Rachel takes the worst life can throw at us and shows us the beauty in it -
Rachel Clarke is a current NHS doctor and former television journalist who cares passionately about standing up for her patients and the NHS. She originally read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before making current affairs documentaries about subjects as diverse as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Al Qaeda and the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She retrained as a doctor in her late twenties, graduating in 2009. She now works in palliative medicine, believing that helping patients at the end of life experience the best quality life possible is priceless. Rachel lives in Oxford with her husband ...More About Rachel Clarke