’I recommend this book to the Chairs of NHS Trusts. They would do well in recruiting Christina.’
Title: The Art of Not Falling Apart
Author: Christina Patterson
Reviewer: Dr Peter Carter
What was it like?
When I read in the Sunday Times colour supplement that Christina was about to publish a book which tells her story, I was enthused. I have long been an admirer of her work and immediatly put in an advance order. The book did not disappoint. I could hardly put it down. At times it was painful to read, particularly when Christina describes her sister’s mental illness. However it is a book that has to be read. It combines anger with challenge and resilience. It introduced me to thinking differently about adversity and it was also at times amusing. The brutal way in which she was sacked (made redundant) from the Independent was truly shocking, particularly from a newspaper that espouses a different set of values. Her tenacity in overcoming this is an example to us all.
What were the highlights?
The whole book was such a gripping read. I couldn’t wait to the turn pages to find out what was happening to Christina, her friends and most poignantly her family. I can honesty say there was not a single point when the book took a dip.
Strengths and weaknesses:
There are no weaknesses but it will challenge readers to re-think some of their values and judgments. The honesty is refreshing. It is also beautifully written. Her description of her friends and adversaries brings them to life and I felt as though I knew them.
Who should read it?
Everyone who works in healthcare would benefit from reading this book. Christina has been a critical friend of nurses and her observations have at times been misunderstood. I believe she had been force for good. I have long thought she would make a huge contribution as a non-exec on an NHS Trust Board. We need people with her integrity, honesty and objectivity to challenge perceived wisdom but also Christina would be a huge supporter of frontline staff. I recommend this book to the Chairs of NHS Trusts. They would do well in recruiting her.
the art of not falling apart