A Fortunate Woman

A Country Doctor’s Story - The Top Ten Bestseller, Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize

Polly Morland author Richard Baker illustrator

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Published: 2nd Mar '23



Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.

A moving, evocative account of a rural GP in a remote rural location.

A The Times Book of the Year 2022

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 *
Polly Morland is a journalist and film-maker with a kindly, dramatic writing style and a feel for the human story . . . 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 *
Polly Morland and Richard Baker have more than done justice to the original John Berger book - and produced a work that stimulates the eye and mind in equal measure. -- Alain de Botton
I was consoled and compelled by this book’s steady gaze on healing and caring. The writing is beautiful. -- Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater and Ghost Wall
Superb - beautiful, enthralling, careful, tender, a humanitarian act in itself, deeply moral, moving, lucid and loving. -- Laura Cumming, James Tait Black-winner and bestselling Costa-shortlisted author of The Vanishing Man and On Chapel Sands
All human life is here in this evocative portrayal of the challenges and joys of rural family doctoring in modern times. Enthralling and uplifting. -- James LeFanu, author The Rise & Fall of Modern Medicine
A Fortunate Woman is the best book I’ve read about general practice for a long time. Astonishingly perceptive, it shows how a committed GP can keep human values alive in an increasingly impersonal NHS – and why we urgently need more like her. -- Professor Roger Neighbour OBE. Past President, Royal College of General Practitioners

General practice has long been the jewel in the crown of the UK National Health Service; A Fortunate Woman sets out in compelling detail the relationship-based care that will be lost forever if we do not act to support and revitalise a profession under threat. It is a vibrant and authentic portrait of the rural family doctor in these difficult contemporary times. -- Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care at the University of Oxford
One of the best books about medicine that I have read. The patients' stories are vivid, moving, often unforgettable. Polly Morland has written with incredible sensitivity, appreciation and descriptive ability about the valley and the people who live there -- Professor Roger Jones OBE
This beautifully crafted book drew me in immediately by reminding me of so many reasons why I became a General Practitioner in the first place – relationship based care and truly holistic practice. A Fortunate Woman is grounded in a legacy of care and compassion for the community served, shared though a compelling narrative based on patient stories. I loved it. -- Prof Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard
Thanks so much for sharing this pre-publication book with me. I thought it was stunning in style and content and I hope it encourages all readers to reflect on what I agree is your key message – the importance of relationship-base care and the fact that it is under threat. -- Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Beautifully and tenderly written, [A Fortunate Woman] also serves as a topical reminder of what is possible with continuity of care. -- Caroline Sanderson, 'Editor's Choice' * Bookseller *

ISBN: 9781529071177

Dimensions: 197mm x 130mm x 24mm

Weight: 230g

256 pages