Book review – When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi…

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
In all my years, I don’t think that I have ever read such a powerful and emotional book as this. Non-fiction is not my thing at all. Yet I had seen a piece about this book on the news about two or three weeks ago and my curiosity was piqued. Hence I was delighted to have the opportunity to read it through Netgalley.
This book opens your eyes to the beautiful mind of Paul Kalanithi and also his wife Lucy’s. She must be recognised as a remarkable woman for her contribution to this book. It was her words, not her husbands that moved me to tears.
This book is stunning in its simplicity and honesty. I would highly recommend that everyone read it and love it as much as I did. My thoughts are with Lucy and Cady Kalanithi and their families.
A stellar five out of five stars.
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley and Random House UK for my copy.

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