> Skip to content
  • Published: 16 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241347379
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $35.00

How to Treat People

A Nurse at Work

A beautifully told memoir by a nurse whose patients and family help her to a clearer understanding of the human condition

The hand of a stranger offered in solace. A flower placed on a dead body as a mark of respect. A gentle word in response to fear and anger. It is these moments of empathy, in the extremis of human experience, which define us as people.

Nobody knows this better than a nurse and Molly Case has witnessed countless such moments. In How to Treat People, she documents these extraordinary points, when two people truly connect. In rich, lyrical prose, she introduces us to patients with whom we share the pain, but also the experience of illness when life is at its most vivid. And when her father is admitted to the high dependency unit on which she works, Molly confronts care in a whole new way, when two worlds - the professional and the personal - suddenly collide.

Weaving together medical history, art, memoir and science, How to Treat People beautifully illustrates the intricacies of the human condition and the oscillating rhythms of life and death. Most of all, it is a heart-stopping reminder that we can all find meaning in being part, even for a moment, of the lives of others.

  • Published: 16 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241347379
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $35.00

Praise for How to Treat People

A profound reflection on the way we live and die


Molly Case reminds us that humanity and moments of true care are as healing as the medicine modern science can deliver

Julia Samuel, author of 'Grief Works'

Intense, powerful, moving and very enlightening on what it means to be a nurse. I loved its endless curiosity about the language of medicine and the practice of care. It seemed infused with a love and respect for the profession itself

Gerard Woodward

How to Treat People gets to the heart of who we are - how we live and also how we die. I was moved twice over - by the work Molly does as a nurse every day, and by the book she has written

Nina Stibbe

Beautifully written and passionate tales from the nurse you would choose for yourself

Stephen Westaby, author of 'Fragile Lives'

What differentiates How to Treat People from other cracking doctor and nurse memoirs already out there is Case's youth and her outstanding use of language. Her charm is her generation's charm: open, loving, bold, inquisitive, caring. May she inspire her contemporaries to join her in a vital job

Melanie Reid, The Times

The tandem stories of Case as nurse and daughter exert the pull of a novel through pages threaded with philosophy and history, ethics and etymology

Sunday Telegraph

Case's empathy and compassion are everywhere evident in this beautifully written narrative

Sunday Times

The moments of empathy and kindness in extreme, tragic situations form the focal point of Case's book, which weaves together science and storytelling

Red Magazine

This fascinating and erudite book takes us through one woman's lovely relationship with her father interspersed with poignant and searing tales from the world of the nurse, as these two worlds move towards an emotional collision. Molly has treated us to a book that gets to the heart (literally) of a nurse's life. As well as being informative, moving and so interesting, it is a bloody good read. Anyone who needs any more convincing that the NHS is our most invaluable asset will find that many times over within the pages of this book

Jo Brand

Written with a poet's ear for language and a nurse's compassionate heart. It will make you cry, and it will buoy your faith in humanity


Case's book will restore your faith . . . She illuminates the fascinating and never-ending loop of care in a hospital

New York Times

Poetic and compassionate, offering a joyous celebration of life

Sunday Times best memoirs of 2019

Related titles