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  • Published: 15 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784744052
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $32.99

Quilt on Fire

The Messy Magic of Midlife

A frank, funny and tender new book from Christie Watson about the search for meaning in mid-life

'A wildly entertaining and necessary book' ELIZABETH DAY

'A must-read for every woman' JACQUELINE WILSON

'Laugh-out-loud, haunting and beautifully crafted' DREDA SAY MITCHELL

In her early twenties, Christie Watson was convinced she'd found her soulmate, in a glowing flash of light that turned out to be a tealight setting her quilt on fire. Twenty years later, her bed is burning once again... as she wakes in a perimenopausal sweat, night after night.

This is the story of her journey through midlife: of the joy of letting go and the pain of the morning after, of the unstoppable power of female friendship and the struggle to raise teenagers as a single parent. It lays bare the exhilaration, agony, wonder and fears of being a middle-aged woman with a wild heart, a changing body and a new set of challenges. And as her world takes on a different shape, there's something else she starts to feel: the hot flush of possibility...

'Wickedly funny, deliciously candid and deeply moving' RACHEL CLARKE, author of Dear Life

'Give Quilt on Fire to your daughter, mother, sister, friends. A howlingly good midlife battle cry' JESS KIDD, author of Things in Jars

'Brilliant... Like having an honest conversation with a smart and funny friend' CATHY RENTZENBRINK, author of Dear Reader

  • Published: 15 June 2022
  • ISBN: 9781784744052
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Christie Watson

Christie Watson is an award-winning, bestselling writer. She has been a nurse for over twenty years.

The Language of Kindness was published in 2018 and was a number one Sunday Times Bestseller. It was a Book of the Year in the Evening Standard, Guardian, New Statesman, The Sunday Times and The Times. It has been translated into 23 languages, and is currently being adapted for theatre and television.

Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and Waverton Good Read Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, also achieved international critical acclaim.

Christie holds an honorary Doctor of Letters for her contribution to nursing and the arts and is Patron of the Royal College of Nursing Foundation. She lives in South London.


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Praise for Quilt on Fire

In this bold and beautiful memoir, the author of The Language of Kindness turns her gift for writing to the nub of things to the emotional chaos of midlife; the terror at the changes it wreaks, but also its strange power to deliver clarity. Having weathered this turbulence myself, I think it's the truest account of perimenopause I have yet read

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

I adore Christie Watson. Quilt on Fire is full of her trademark candour, compassion and humour

Elizabeth Day

Funny, honest, liberating and wise - Christie Watson has written the equivalent of a laugh-until-you-cry conversation with a best friend

Jess Kidd, author of THINGS IN JARS

Raw and real and laugh-out-loud funny. So timely... Quilt on Fire is like a supportive friend reaching out a hand, saying it will be okay

Karen Angelico, author of EVERYTHING WE ARE

Unsettling and life-affirming, funny and sad, unflinchingly honest and incredibly moving, this is a bloody marvellous book, fired with the realisation that love is the only thing that matters, in the end

John Sutherland, author of BLUE

Sensational and so necessary. I really needed this book and I definitely won't be the only one. Women everywhere will weep with gratitude

Tiffany Atkinson, author of LUMEN

A rallying cry for all those confused by their forties, Watson captures midlife with typical fearlessness, humour and style. Her writer's eye never looks away from the truth but seeks only to illuminate it. Every woman should read this book

Sarah Langford, author of IN YOUR DEFENCE

I love Quilt on Fire! I feel very seen. Christie Watson captures the chaos and uncertainty of midlife exactly... A hilarious romp at times, Quilt on Fire is also a moving and insightful exploration of a transformational inner journey... A joyful book that celebrates our journey back to who we are - women who dare to fly in colour

Kathryn Mannix, author of WITH THE END IN MIND

Generous notes from the heat of female experience. Read it with a sigh of relief and gratitude

Diana Evans, author of ORDINARY PEOPLE

How does Christie Watson do it? No-one depicts with greater wisdom and tenderness the unruly, bewildering, mercurial gorgeousness of the human body. I adored this book

Rachel Clarke, author of DEAR LIFE

I wish I'd had such a laugh-out-loud, haunting and beautifully crafted manual to help navigate my own menopause. The stories filled me with laughter and tears... Many many women will be eternally grateful

Dreda Say Mitchell

Christie Watson is fierce, funny and endearingly frank in her fantastic new memoir

Jacqueline Wilson

You don't have to be in midlife to appreciate this funny, real, empathetic memoir about the multitudes contained in every woman... You'll feel as if you've found a kindred spirit


Literary, gritty, joyful and very, very funny, reading Quilt on Fire is like hanging out with a best friend, one who knows you so well that she can see inside your soul... Virgina Woolf-sharp

Stacey Duguid, Sunday Telegraph

[Quilt on Fire] stood out for its honesty and humour... A must-read for any woman in midlife

Good Housekeeping, 'This month's 10 books to read right now'

[An] insightful and outspoken exploration of middle age and the perimenopause

Kate Kellaway, Observer

Hilarious, heartfelt and deeply moving, Christie has written a manifesto for all those of us who need to rediscover a life worth loving. A must-read


A funny, frank and informative blend of personal writing, research and conversations with friends... [Watson's] descriptions of her failing body are vivid and unflinching... Passages are moving, humbling and written with beautiful detail

Marianne Power, The Times

Unflinchingly honest and utterly hilarious... An inspiring account of tackling those glorious middle years

Woman & Home, *Summer Reads of 2022*

A superb chronicle of midlife and the chaos of the perimenopause. Candid, humorous, insightful, deeply empathetic, inspiring and utterly necessary

i Paper

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