Breaking & Mending by Joanna Cannon

Published December 7, 2020

Breaking & Mending by Joanna Cannon

Book info

  • Title Breaking & Mending
  • Author Joanna Cannon
  • Year 2019
  • Genres Non-fiction, Memoir

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.


This was so beautifully written. There are a lot of memoirs out there about working in the medical professions but this was a special one. It flows beautifully, it describes an incredible journey of finding yourself whilst supporting so many grateful people.

And whilst there is an undercurrent of how over-stretched and unsuitable the NHS work environment is, that’s not the main focus of the piece. It’s more about how difficult a job it is and how the doctor-patient relationship needs careful managing.

Rating: 5 / 5

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