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Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life) Hardcover – 26 Dec 2014
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‘The most honest, beautiful, heart wrenching and eye opening book I’ve ever read. I will keep reminding myself of Kate Gross’s words and her story’ Fearne Cotton
‘Raw, honest, yet unexpectedly positive … A warm and oddly uplifting read. Gross is funny in the darkest moments of truth. Neither falsely upbeat nor purposefully dramatic or tear-jerking, the book brings Gross to life’ Independent
‘Shows you how to live life to the brim … boy, does [Kate’s] writing have pulse. Clear-sighted and cold-eyed, her sentences are light as leaves and she was as wise as a magi … When [her twins] wonder about their mother, here she will be, bold and brave, caught on the page in all her wonderful vitality’ Mail on Sunday, 5*
‘This book could make you rethink the way you live your whole life … there is a sense of wonder, a determination to live and love with her whole heart in the little time [Gross] has left … Funny and sharp and celebratory’ Sunday Express, 5*
‘A joyful act of love … witty, always serious, but rarely solemn. Her prose is grounded, unshowy and blessed with a casual poetry … To read this book is to learn what can be snatched back from death … it is vividly, beautifully alive’ Robert Webb, New Statesman
‘It is extremely difficult to write on this subject evocatively, but without sentimentality … [Kate] treats herself as a case study, a bystander with a story to tell. The effect is readable, engaging and enriching … To do that as your final act is amazing’ Daily Telegraph 5*
‘Gross writes with steadfast, exquisite skill and although this remarkable book is hard to get through without a box of hankies, it is also one of the most galvanising you are likely to read all year – READ IT AND LEAP’ Metro
‘With her lucid prose and piercing perception she is as much of a loss to the world of literature as she is to politics … Should be mandatory reading for every adult, urging them to fight the human impulse to take life in all its richness for granted’ Daily Express 5*
About the Author
Kate Gross was 36 years old when she died from colon cancer on Christmas day at her home in Cambridge. Before her cancer, Kate read English at Oxford University. She joined the civil service and worked in Number 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. On leaving, she set up the Africa Governance Initiative, a charity which works to rebuild structures of Government in post-conflict Africa. She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her work. She blogged about her cancer at kateelizabethgross.wordpress.com and wrote there in more medical detail than she does in her book which is almost entirely free of any medical jargon or writing on the nature of cancer. It is a book instead about life. She is survived by her husband Billy and their five year old sons Isaac and Oscar.
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Top Customer Reviews
I did not know Kate but her strong voice and insightful words will stay with me. So sorry to her family for their loss.
I find it almost impossible to review this book in any great depth for two reasons. One is that it seems almost unbearably inhuman to criticise anything at all about such a sincere and un-self-pitying account. The other is that I have had far, far too much experience of this sort of thing, including my beloved sister dying of cancer in very similar circumstances. Objective analysis is therefore very difficult and, to be honest, far too painful, but as a brief personal perspective:
A lot of the book is readable, thoughtful and touching. I didn't find all of it brilliant - having terminal cancer does not automatically grant someone superhuman wisdom - but Kate Gross was already a thoughtful, intelligent woman before her cancer and she offers some very good reflections and insights. One section that I thought was especially good was the brief passage about what Kate wanted from people supporting her. She acknowledges that people often don't know what to do and lays out very frank and sensible rules and advice. Examples include: offer help, then "offer again in six months time because the chances are that that is the point at which everyone else will have stopped offering help", or "Remember this is not about *you*. The point is not to burnish your halo, but to help." Oh, yes.
She also says things I don't agree with, like "There's really nothing you can say that will make things worse, after all.Read more ›
Kate Gross's memoir is a book about how to live and when you read this it will leave a mark on you that you will carry like a torch to guide you through your own life. ‘’Late Fragments’ is a book that is poetic and beautiful.
Kate lived a life that many can only dream of joining the Civil Service and entering Downing Street through the Black Door of No. 10 working for two Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and then setting up a Charity with Tony Blair (African Governance Initiative) travelling the World meeting Presidents and Prime Ministers raising Money and awareness for AGI and for Peace and Reconciliation in parts of Africa torn apart by War. Awarded the OBE in 2014 for her work.
As you read through the book Kate shares her life with you, as she starts out on life's journey, how she met the love of her life Billy Boyle (The best looking man she's has ever kissed), entering the World of the Civil Service and life as aide to two Prime Ministers and then setting up the Charity alongside Tony Blair who is Patron Kate would then become CEO at the age of thirty and her twin boys Oscar and Isaac. Ultimately this book is a memoir, as Kate was diagnosed with advanced Colon Cancer in October 2012, and set about writing a daily blog kateelizabethgross.wordpress.com as a gift to herself and prove she could still 'create'. The last entry is titled 'The Last Post' entered by Kate's Mother.
What Kate gives to the World is a book that is a brave, frank and honest, as well as moving, there is humour here that comes through.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book two years after losing my mother to cancer. Often reading it I would reflect on what she would have written, and also what I would be saying if I was in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by lilminx123
I know this was a memoir, not a novel and I feel bad for not liking it given the subject matter. It was just a chore to read and for all its wordiness, it actually told me very... Read morePublished 2 months ago by cheech77
Loved this book. Really puts life into perspective, and it was very well written. Aside from her illness she also talks in depth about her life and career which is also very... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Emily
Ostensibly addressed to the author's two young sons, this must be one of the hardest books to review because the writer was in such a heart-breaking situation, writing almost up... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Grylla S. Noab
This is a good book. It is well written, thoughtful and well worth reading by anyone involved in any way with terminal disease. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sid Nuncius
This is a truly moving and inspiring book. You know how it's going to end when you start it, and it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking when it happens. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LBray
I didn't find it as mind-blowingly inspiring as others have but maybe that's just my life experiences gettingin the way. Well-written, though, and without self-pity.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this book because it is about Kate's life and her career and her lovely family. Never a mention of gruelling treatments or cancer wards which I am sure Kate had her fair... Read morePublished 6 months ago by GillyC
Lovely, well written book. The love Kate has for her family shines through. A wonderful gift for her boys.Published 6 months ago by Anon
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