How to Treat People
Molly Case

Book cover image

Narrated By: Molly Case

Duration: 6 hours and 55 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How to Treat People by Molly Case.

As a teenager Molly case is admitted to hospital for an operation that will save her life. Nearly a decade later, she finds herself in the operating theatre again, this time as a trainee nurse. In How To Treat People, Molly brings together these extraordinary moments, when the professional and the personal become inseparable. She introduces us to patients with whom we share the pain, fear but also the life-affirming moments of illness. And when her father arrives on the high dependency unit of the hospital where Molly works we realise, most profoundly, that she is no longer there just to alleviate the patient's suffering but to be a part of it.

In the healing of a leg wound, in newly-sewn heart valves, and in the last breaths of a person, Molly Case illustrates the intricacies of the human condition and what really matters to us when we are at our most vulnerable. Weaving together medical history, art, memoir and science, How to Treat People explores the oscillating rhythms of life and death, the importance of what we impart and the legacies we leave behind.


Memoirs, Autobiography: science, technology and medicine, Coping with illness and specific health conditions, Residential care, Intensive care nursing, Home nursing and caring, Nurse/patient relationship, Popular medicine and health, Palliative medicine

Listen to a sample

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

A profound reflection on the way we live and die


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

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

The Times

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

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

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

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

Poetic and compassionate, offering a joyous celebration of life