An Extra Pair of Hands

A story of caring, ageing and everyday acts of love

Front cover of the book ‘An Extra Pair of Hands’ by Kate Mosse

A beautiful, emotional and timely read.

Matt Haig

An essential account of caring – and the grief, guilt, joy and love that accompany it, from the bestselling author of ‘Labyrinth’.

As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones – some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.

Here Kate Mosse tells her personal story of finding herself as a carer in middle age: first helping her mother look after her beloved father through Parkinson’s, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as “an extra pair of hands” for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.

This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It’s about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we’re exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently – and think differently about ageing.

But most of all, it’s a story about love.

Read an extract from ‘An Extra Pair of Hands’, and watch a recording of an event with Kate Mosse and palliative care doctor and writer Rachel Clarke in conversation about care, ageing and everyday acts of love.

Date published
208 pages
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About the author

Black and white head and shoulders portrait of Kate Mosse who has a short-cropped blonde bob and is wearing a black shirt.

Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse is a bestselling novelist, playwright and non-fiction author with sales of more than eight million copies in 38 languages. Renowned for bringing under-heard histories to life, she is a champion of women’s creativity. She is Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the World and is a Visiting Professor of Contemporary Fiction and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Her novel ‘The City of Tears’ was published in January 2021.