The Fragments of my Father
(Fourth Estate, 416 PP, £16.99)
Tablet bookshop price £15.29 • Tel 020 7799 4064
Covid-19 has reminded us of the undervalued role of carers in our society. So much so that, right now, it is unfathomable how we managed to overlook what they do for so long. Whether our current gratitude will endure as we emerge from lockdown is uncertain. Sam Mills makes a powerful case that it should.
Her memoir about looking after first her mother, diagnosed with terminal cancer, and then her father, living with schizophrenia that manifests in catatonic episodes, lays bare the human cost of carers’ quiet heroism. Mills is an up-and-coming novelist, with three works for young adults to her name, and 2012’s ambitious The Quiddity of Will Self, and her fluent account ranges effortlessly backwards and forwards in time.