A Fortunate Woman
Illustrated by Richard Baker
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize
The Top Ten Bestseller
A The Times Book of the Year
Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month
‘If you want to read a book that moves you both at the level of sentence and the quality of language and with the emotional depth of its subject matter, then A Fortunate Woman is definitely the book you should be reading’ - Samanth Subramanian, Baillie Gifford judge
When Polly Morland is clearing out her mother’s house she finds a book that will lead her to a remarkable figure living on her own doorstep: the country doctor who works in the same remote, wooded valley she has lived in for many years. This doctor is a rarity in contemporary medicine – she knows her patients inside out, and their stories are deeply entwined with her own.
In A Fortunate Woman, with its beautiful photographs by Richard Baker, Polly Morland has written a profoundly moving love letter to a landscape, a community and, above all, to what it means to be a good doctor.
‘Morland writes about nature and the changing landscape with such lyrical precision that her prose sometimes seems close to poetry’ - Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times
‘Timely . . . compelling . . . a delicately drawn miniature’ - Financial Times
‘This book deepens our understanding of the life and thoughts of a modern doctor, and the modern NHS, and it expands movingly to chronicle a community and a landscape’ - Kathleen Jamie, New Statesman
Morland writes about nature and the changing landscape with such lyrical precision that her prose sometimes seems close to poetry . . . There has been no shortage in recent years of books about healthcare . . . With this gem, Morland has done something similar for general practice. Let’s just hope the policymakers listen.
Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
The doctor's kindly, holistic approach - she makes time to investigate her patients' social as well as physical needs - seems to evoke a lost world . . . Morland's book contains a profound message for the future at a critical moment for general practice and us all.
Wendy Moore, TLS
This book deepens our understanding of the life and thoughts of a modern doctor, and the modern NHS, and it expands movingly to chronicle a community and a landscape – “the valley” itself is a defining feature of people’s lives.
Kathleen Jamie, New Statesman