Two women in a room. One is bleeding to death. The other just sits back and watches. For both, there is everything to lose. Surgeons are meant to save lives, but Nancy is a special kind of surgeon. Doctors are meant to be good at reporting the truth, but Nancy's is an untellable story. A mistake made in the operating theatre changes all of this.
Summoned to explain herself to a tribunal appointed by the General Medical Council, Nancy is forced to consider what it means to be a doctor who has killed as well as cured. And to realise that her own redemption can only come through telling a tale that nobody wants to hear.
Gabriel Weston, author of the acclaimed Direct Red: A Surgeon's Story, winner of the 2010 PEN/Ackerley Prize, has written an extraordinarily moving and powerful novel about a female doctor who performs abortions.
Gabriel Weston was born in 1970. She qualified as a doctor in 2000 and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2003. Her first book,
“Her wisdom, empathy, morality and self-awareness are very revealing... Her writing is as incisive, precise and clean as keyhole surgery” (The Times)
“Anyone remotely interested in medicine should read this book...bringing us a front-line report from an often alien territory” (Daily Telegraph)
“A beautiful, haunting and upsetting book. Weston's prose is cool and elegant” (Sunday Telegraph)
“Gabriel Weston's voice is so seductive; her wisdom so fresh and earned, and unimpaired by sentimentality, and yet you sense her empathy - and scintillating honesty - behind every well-turned sentence. She leaves you feeling that if push came to shove you'd want to be operated on by her” (Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph)
“Her description of the struggle to remain individual and hence moral is her real achievement. This, to me, is what female writing has to do, and she does it with style and humour and beauty.” (Rachel Cusk)
“As well-written and sensitive an account, by a decent, cultivated and highly intelligent person, of the glories and miseries of the practice as are likely ever to read.” (Literary Review)
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