Life, Death and Biscuits by Anthea Allen (Review)

Format Read: Audiobook

Source: BorrowBox

Publisher: HarperCollins

Narrator: Anthea Allen

Genres: Non-Fiction, Medical Memoir

Length: 8 Hours & 48 Minutes

Publication Date: 17th February 2022

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

“An extraordinarily powerful memoir based on the diaries of intensive care nurse Anthea Allen, who worked on the front line of one of the largest hospitals in Europe during the Covid crisis.

With over 30 years of experience as a nurse, Anthea thought she had seen it all. But with Covid came the greatest trial, personally and professionally, of her life. Thrust into hourly challenges – many a matter of life and death – while on the Critical Care units of St George’s in south London, Anthea processed her shocking experiences through writing. It started with an email to request biscuits. But her appeal to help boost the morale of her fellow nurses soon turned into a series of astonishingly moving stories detailing the realities of being a front line worker.

It wasn’t long before Anthea’s accounts were circulating far and wide, capturing the attention of the nation and being feted by the likes of Richard Branson and Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid.

In Life, Death and Biscuits, Anthea reveals the human story behind Covid, sharing tales of hope, fear and laughter from both her ‘family’ of nurses and the patients she encountered. Forged in a crisis, this deeply affecting memoir offers a unique and inspiring perspective on the pandemic that simultaneously tore the world apart and brought us together. Both heart-wrenching and uplifting, it serves as a testimony to love, resilience and the human spirit.”

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My Thoughts

I ended up downloading the audiobook for this one from BorrowBox after hearing about it on TV. In this book Anthea shares her experience working as a critical care nurse, before and throughout the Covid pandemic.

It was a very interesting read. It is made up of diary like entries combined with email extracts that were sent to family and friends. It was a real eye opener to find out exactly how the staff have been struggling, not just during the pandemic but also way before it started.

Some of the stories made me laugh, some made me feel sad and some even shocked me, but what I liked the most about this book was how brutally honest the experiences were. It all well and good to hear things on the news but nothing bets hearing the struggles directly from the people who dealing with them every day. Memoirs on a whole can be hit and miss for me but I do like a good, honest and well written medical memoir and this is definitely one that I liked and recommend.

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads

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