Morag Watkins's Reviews > Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS

Many Different Kinds of Love by Michael Rosen
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read March 19, 2021 to March 21, 2021.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley, courtesy of Penguin Random House.

It will be common knowledge that the much loved children’s author Micael Rosen caught Covid-19 in March last year and rapidly deteriorated to the point of needing hospitalisation. The advice at the time was Do not attend A & E , Do not go to your Dr’s surgery. Fortunately for everyone, a local GP and friend came to the door with a newly arrived gadget for measuring the oxygen level in his bloodstream, which was so low that it was surprising he was conscious. His wife, Emma, drove him to A & E, thinking it would be faster than waiting for an ambulance. From then on, he is in the capable hands of the NHS and was treated with care, love, dignity and above all kindness. It must have been a very frightening experience for all concerned. After 47 days in an induced coma in ICU, Michael is slowly returned to health, minus a few bits like a working eye and ear!
The book which is a tribute to the NHS as well as a love story with his wife is moving, sad and funny and tells the story of his care and return to his beloved family as well as all the children who appreciate his school visits and love his books.
The early part of the book is the letters written by the staff who cared for Michael in hospital, gleaned from a book by his bed in which they wrote of their thoughts and love on each shift. they write about his condition and what they are doing to and for him, as well as how much they loved his books. Many were physiotherapists, helping out in ICU. In the hospital the staff printed and laminated his poem “These are the Hands” which he wrote as a tribute to the NHS, for its 60th anniversary. It was on the wall beside his bed. This too is in the book.
The rest of the book is written in poetry, blank verse for the most part, and concerns his rehabilitation and recovery. He is back on the radio in Word of Mouth, a year later.
The love of his wife and for his wife shines through the whole book. The subtitle A Story of Life, Death and the NHS is so apt, although maybe the word ‘Love’ should also be there. It is a love song to the NHS, as well as a good read which should be read by everyone, Covid deniers, and politicians alike.
I thoroughly recommend it.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 19, 2021 – Started Reading
March 21, 2021 – Finished Reading
March 22, 2021 – Shelved

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