The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story

Cover of the book, The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story.

Written by:

Published by: Vintage


4.15, based on 5,958 reviews.

Goodreads says:

Retired nurse and Costa Award-winning author Christie Watson has joined the Covid-19 emergency nursing register and is going back into the NHS. Read her incredible No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling memoir of nursing today. ‘It made me cry. It made me think. It made me laugh’ Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt and Twas the Nightshift Before ChristmasChristie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.‘A powerful insight into the life of nurses’ The Times, Books of the Year‘A remarkable book about life and death and so brilliantly written it makes you hold your breath’ Ruby Wax

Waterstones says:

Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for January 2019

Following a 20-year career that included stints at Great Ormond Street Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, author and former nurse Christie Watson shares a personal, timely and indispensably important story that gives voice to those whose job it is to care for us at our most vulnerable and at our last.

Nursing is - or should be - an indiscriminate act of caring, compassion and empathy. It should be a reminder of our capacity to love one another. If the way we treat our most vulnerable is a measure of our society, then the act of nursing itself is a measure of our humanity. Yet it is the most undervalued of all the professions.

Moving through her twenty-year career in nursing, Christie recounts moments of intense and deeply moving experience; from nursing a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, to the pain and privilege of washing the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.

For Christie, ‘both nursing and writing are about stepping into other shoes all the time’ and, in The Language of Kindness, she brings readers inside a closed circle of life at its most visceral, raw and vital. Drawing on her professional experience and on the profound impact of her father’s death from cancer, Christie turns a personal memoir into a quietly fervent examination of the necessity of care and what its value says about our society and who we are. ‘In an age where we have everything’, Christie argues, ‘when our living conditions are better, when our general health and education should be at a universally higher standard, we are suffering as never before.’ In the face of this, her book offers a beacon of hope, a reminder of the best in human nature. Poignant, tender and told with generosity of spirit, it is a book readers will want to press, insistently, into the hands of others.

Written exclusively for Waterstones to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, read an exclusive article by Christie Watson about what nursing means to her.

Rating breakdown

4.15 out of 5 stars (5,958 ratings)
5 42% (2,486 ratings)
4 37% (2,180 ratings)
3 17% (1,042 ratings)
2 3% (186 ratings)
1 1% (64 ratings)

About Christie Watson

Author of non-fiction: The Language of Kindness and fiction: Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, and Where Women are Kings....
[Read more about Christie Watson]

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