Breathing Out

English showbusiness writer Karen Hockney was living the jet-set life in the south of France when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her forties.

A marathon runner and fitness fanatic who had never smoked, Karen was thriving in her job, travelling around the world to meet famous people. ‘You have cancer’ was the last thing she expected to hear.

In Breathing Out, Karen reveals her struggles with the language barrier and unfamiliar French health system with an honesty that is prickly and playful in equal measure. Her experience is shared in a vivid and affectionate manner, and her attitude is realistic yet hopeful. Her feelings seep through every page.

This extraordinarily brave memoir highlights the indiscriminate nature of breast cancer, and Karen’s capacity for humour and charm throughout her experience is inspiring.

If you have ever cared for patients with cancer, many of the words you read will be familiar. Prepare to find yourself laughing and reaching for a tissue on the same page.