Sunday Times Review

An imaginative fusion of anecdotal detail, medical science and poignant, elegiac narrative marks every chapter of this unusual book..... What emerges is a unique profile of a father-son relationship, poignantly affectionate yet utterly devoid of sentimentality.

Every year a great many books are published about cancer. Scientific studies in oncology proliferate as medical science expands. There is a virtual publishing industry, moreover, in objective, information, advice, and self-help for a general readership. There are also books that tell the stories of individual sufferers; they do not make comfortable reading. Yet some accounts succeed in giving both sufferers and those close to them hope and strength. It is this cathartic effect that raises CS Lewis’s A Grief Observed (later made into the film Shadowlands), into a work of literature. And now there is Wishart’s book, which inhabits a remarkable genre of its own.