An Extra Pair of Hands
A story of caring, ageing and everyday acts of love
by Kate Mosse
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 03 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 03 Jun 2021
Serpent's Tail / Viper / Profile Books, Wellcome Collection
"A meditation on caring and ageing that lifts the spirits without pulling punches" Ian Rankin
"I read it in one sitting, and will be pressing into the hands of everyone I know" Christie Watson
"A beautiful, emotional and timely read" Matt Haig
"This is a truly beautiful book, shot through with honesty, heartbreak and joy. I loved it" Adam Kay
"Luminous with love" Nicci Gerrard
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.
'A beautiful, emotional and timely read' - Matt Haig
'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
'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
'Care is hard work, but ... Kate Mosse reminds us also of how precious and deeply enriching this labour of love can be. Mosse is a wise guide to a complex territory of caring for ageing parents, and this is essential reading' - Madeleine Bunting
Average rating from 15 members
This book is one that will stay with me for a long time. It's just beautiful; a very special look at not just the practicalities of caring but the emotions of everyone involved. I became very fond of the people the author talks about but it rings true for anyone either in the position of caring for another person now or who knows that it is coming down the line, The author acknowledges that her experience is not everyone's so we never get a sense of "duty" in her role of carer. Instead love and a sense of sharing something special is woven through the book. Everyone should read this. It's certainly a book that I will be recommending to people in my life. I'm so grateful for the chance to read it.