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Book Review: My Foreign Cities

This book is the author’s memoir of her marriage to her husband who had cystic fibrosis.

It starts in high school where the couple first met and details their future aspirations – her husband’s goal was to live as long as possible.

The author describes life as a partner of someone with cystic fibrosis. There are significant episodes of illness requiring hospitalisation throughout the tale whilst trying to live their lives. It is well written with some humour.

It details relationships with the medical profession and the couple’s experience of their illness. Importantly it touches on aspects of palliative care. The book gives an insight into the lives of a couple faced with the deteriorating health of one partner and the effect on their families.

I found it particularly interesting to know how the couple coped with each other’s emotions and the involvement of their family and friends in the face of illness.

The book raises issues related to transplantation, living with chronic illness and coping with grief. It is an easy to read book that is very relevant to those who work in health care, not necessarily clinicians. It may also be read by patients with a chronic medical condition as well as the general reader. It is to be commended for expressing the emotions of a care-giver looking after someone with chronic illness, such as cystic fibrosis.


Dr Suneeta Kochar is a GP in Bexhill, Sussex.