Breaking & Mending

Breaking & Mending : A junior doctor's stories of compassion & burnout

4.38 (255 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'One of the most beautiful books you will ever read' Kate Mosse
'I tore through Breaking and Mending... frank, emotional and compassionate' David Nicholls
'Powerful and moving' Nina Stibbe
'Deeply moving and thought-provoking' Nathan Filer
'Powerful, shocking and intimate' John Boyne
'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
'I will be buying Breaking & Mending today and you should too' Adam Kay
'Breathtaking' Christie Watson, Telegraph


"A few years ago, I found myself in A&E.

I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn't eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat... but I knew I had to carry on.

Because I wasn't the patient. I was the doctor."

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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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 138 x 204 x 22mm | 297g
  • Wellcome Collection
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1788160576
  • 9781788160575
  • 12,193

Review Text

I tore through Breaking and Mending... frank, emotional and compassionate David Nicholls
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Review quote

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 *
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About Joanna Cannon

Joanna Cannon is the author of the Sunday Times bestsellers, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, which was published in fifteen languages, and Three Things About Elsie, longlisted for the Women's Prize. Her novels have sold over half a million copies in the UK alone.

Her love of narrative had always drawn her to psychiatry, but it wasn't until her thirties that she decided to go to back to university to study medicine. Before specialising in psychiatry, she rotated through a series of hospital jobs, from A&E to palliative care.

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death.
wellcomecollection.org
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Rating details

255 ratings
4.38 out of 5 stars
5 58% (148)
4 28% (71)
3 10% (26)
2 2% (6)
1 2% (4)
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