An Extra Pair of Hands
A Times Best Book for Summer 2021
A Guardian Summer Book 2021
The i’s 30 Best Books for Summer 2021
An Independent Book of the Month
An inspiring and heartbreaking story of what it means to care for those we love – by bestselling author Kate Mosse
‘A brilliant read that celebrates both the fragility and resilience of human existence … uplifting, inspiring, a tribute to love’ ELIF SHAFAK
‘Shot through with honesty, heartbreak and joy. I loved it’ ADAM KAY
‘A celebration of ageing, womanhood and what love really means’ CHRISTIE WATSON, author of The Language of Kindness
As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones – some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.
Here, Kate Mosse tells her personal story of finding herself as a carer in middle age: first, helping her mother look after her beloved father through Parkinson’s, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as ‘an extra pair of hands’ for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.
This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It’s about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we’re exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently – and think differently about ageing.
But most of all, it’s a story about love.
‘Questions how and why we fetishise independence when the reality of human experience is always interdependence. Here is a book that sees, in this, a cause for celebration’ Guardian, Book of the Day
‘Heartfelt, funny and at times heartbreaking … Anyone who has ever cared for an older relative, in whatever capacity, will relate to it. Keep the tissues handy. 10/10’ Independent
‘A meditation on caring and ageing that lifts the spirits without pulling punches’ Ian Rankin
‘A beautiful, emotional and timely read’ Matt Haig
‘Luminous with love’ Nicci Gerrard
An Extra Pair of Hands is beautiful, heartbreaking, honest and ultimately uplifting story of carers, and by carers I mean women. I read it in one sitting, and will be pressing into the hands of everyone I know. A celebration of ageing, womanhood and what love really means. -- Christie Watson A beautiful, emotional and timely read -- Matt Haig An Extra Pair of Hands is like a beacon of light: full of candour, sorrow, joy, hard-won wisdom, and luminous with love -- Nicci Gerrard A beautiful, profoundly moving book about society's most vital glue - care -- Rachel Clarke Honest, moving ... this book will be a huge help to both carers and the cared-for -- Deborah Moggach Wonderful ... I was in tears, but the reading experience is ultimately uplifting and hopeful -- Cathy Rentzenbrink So beautifully captures the joys, sorrows and privileges of caring for someone you love at the end of their life, as well as the deep grief of letting them go. It is the story of being a woman, of being the centre point of a family and all that entails. Mostly it is a story about what it means to love someone. A must read for anyone who has ever been, or ever will be, an extra pair of hands -- Penny Wincer
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