Seven Signs of Life
Aoife Abbey

Book cover image

Narrated By: Caroline Lennon

Duration: 6 hours and 13 minutes

What to expect

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Seven Signs of Life by Aoife Abbey, read by Caroline Lennon.

Grief. Anger. Joy. Fear. Distraction. Disgust. Hope. All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime.

But what if this was every day? And what if your ability to manage them was the difference between life and death?

For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Fear in the eyes of a terminally ill patient who pleads with you to not let them die. Grief when you make a potentially fatal mistake. Disgust at caring for a convicted rapist. But there are also moments of joy, like the rare bright spots of lucidity for a dementia patient, or when the ward unexpectedly breaks into song.

Dr Aoife Abbey shows us what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital and takes us beyond a purely medical perspective. Told through seven emotions, Seven Signs of Life is about what it means to be alive and how it feels to care for a living.

(c) 2019, Aoife Abbey (P) 2019 ISIS


Memoirs, Popular medicine & health, Doctor/patient relationship

Listen to a sample

A brilliant, compelling account of what it is like to spend your days caring for patients "on the fringe of existence" ... A hugely life-affirming book. In between the many grim situations encountered on a daily basis, Abbey shows us moments of both joy and deep emotional connection

Mail on Sunday

A powerful glimpse into the high stakes of intensive care …Above all this book is insightful about the grey areas where a doctor must go ... Some readers may be wearying of doctor memoirs. This one ... has a freshness and a sincerity that moved me. She is a gifted writer ... honest, compassionate, sensitive… [and] the doctor we would crave in our greatest need

The Times

Abbey’s book stands out among the current crop of doctor-penned memoirs for its thoughtful, compassionate reflections on life in Intensive Care. Abbey presents the usual case studies with an unusual depth of feeling and evident love for those in her care. She may be in the earlier stages of her career, but the author writes with a maturity and vocational fervour well beyond her years. An unsung classic of the genre

A thoughtful and necessary book about a world all of us might inhabit at some point in our lives

Irish Times

Heartfelt, honest, illuminating and wise – a wonderful book that I would urge everyone to read