Title: An Extra Pair of Hands – A Story of Caring, Ageing and Everyday Acts of Love
Author: Kate Mosse
Pages: 208 Pages
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones _ some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.
Here, Kate Mosse tells her personal story of finding herself as a carer in middle age: first, helping her mother look after her beloved father through Parkinson’s, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as ‘an extra pair of hands’ for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.
This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It’s about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we’re exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently _ and think differently about ageing.
But most of all, it’s a story about love.
I have read a few Kate Mosse books, loved her Languadoc Trilogy so when I saw that she had released a non fiction book, I won’t lie to you, I was intrigued. Especially when I saw its association with the Wellcome Collection. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
In An Extra Pair of Hands Kate Mosse explored what it is like to become a carer for those who has once cared for you. Having gone through this myself recently I say it is the moment you become an actual adult. You may have a mortgage, a car, be married and even have kids of your own but when your parents become your responsibility the whole axis of your world goes of kilter. And it is terrifying.
Mosse explore this so well in her book looking at the practicalities of looking after a parent, taking control of things you never had to do before but mainly she looks at the emotional side of things both of you as the carer and the parent whose loss of independence and having to rely on others can be hard to accept.
The one thing that Mosse does stress is that through all the hard times and though you may feel really negative about becoming a carer at certain points (we are all human) that it is an absolute privilege to be able to give back to those who have given to us.
An Extra Pair of Hands is a heartbreaking yet uplifting read.
An Extra Pair of Hands – A Story of Caring, Ageing and Everyday Acts of Love by Kate Mosse is available now.
For more information regarding Kate Mosse (@katemosse) please visit www.katemosse.co.uk.
For more information regarding Serpent’s Tail (@serpentstail) please visit www.serpentstail.com.