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Dear Life

Dear Life

‘A magnificent, tender book’ Independent

‘Her words are brimful of love, grace and kindness’ Guardian


‘She writes with a tender, lyrical beauty’ Sunday Times


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.
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Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, 2020

Genre: Medicine

On Sale: 30th January 2020

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781405543439

Reviews

This is a wonderful book. Rachel takes the worst life can throw at us and shows us the beauty in it
Adam Kay
What a remarkable book this is; tender, funny, brave, heartfelt, radiant with love and life. It sings with joy and kindness
Robert Macfarlane
A truly wonderful book. Read it
Henry Marsh
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
Matt Haig
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
Nigella Lawson
A touching and profound meditation on what it means to be human . . . it is a remarkable book
John Crace, Guardian
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
Kathryn Mannix
Heart-wrenchingly tender
Observer
She writes with a tender, lyrical beauty
Sunday Times
Her words are brimful of love, grace and kindness
Guardian
A magnificent, tender book
Independent
Moving . . . an honest account from the front line of death
Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times
An enthralling and deeply affecting book . . . It is [the] blend of the personal and professional that makes Dear Life so special
Caroline Sanderson, Express
Honest, clear-sighted and immensely wise, Clarke's book is laced with loss, yet raises a jubilant toast to life
Literary Review
A heartbreaking, exhilarating read
Guardian
Arguably the most remarkable book of the year
The i
An NHS doctor interweaves heartwarming stories of palliative care for patients in a hospice with memories of her beloved GP father
Guardian
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