Polly Morland was clearing her late mother’s house when she found a battered paperback fallen behind the family bookshelf. Opening it, she was astonished to see an old photograph of the remote, wooded valley in which she lives. The book was A Fortunate Man, John Berger’s classic account of a country doctor working in the same valley more than half a century earlier. This chance discovery led Morland to the remarkable doctor who serves that valley community today, a woman whose own medical vocation was inspired by reading the very same book as a teenager.
A Fortunate Woman tells her compelling, true story, and how the tale of the old doctor has threaded through her own life in magical ways. Working within a community she loves, she is a rarity in contemporary medicine: a modern doctor who knows her patients inside out, the lives of this ancient, wild place entwined with her own.
Revisiting Berger’s story after half a century of seismic change, both in our society and in the ways in which medicine is practised, A Fortunate Woman sheds light on what it means to be a doctor in today’s complex and challenging world. Interweaving the doctor’s story with those of her patients, reflecting on the relationship between landscape and community, and upon the wider role of medicine in society, a unique portrait of a twenty-first century family doctor emerges.
I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it was a little different to my usual reads but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I loved how the book A fortunate Man was found but how I found the stories so engaging and compelling. All the stories are true life and like me probably don’t even think how a country doctor would battle against the elements to see her patients and how living in the country is different. It was an eye opening experience but I felt as though I learnt things through out that I probably won’t have known unless I had read this book. It was also very interesting to read about the affects the pandemic and Covid had on the community. I also really liked the pictures through out the book, it gave it more of a personal experience. I would recommend reading this book.
I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.
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