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Julia Lawton is an social anthropologist. She spent 5 months working alongside volunteers in a Day Care Centre for people living with cancer, followed by 8 months in the nearby hospice caring for people dying of cancer. This book describes the experiences of people in both places, and sets those experiences in a theoretical framework. Broadly speaking, she observes that the people she worked with lost their social and family lives well before their bodies died. She discusses why this was the case, and how and why the care the cancer-sufferers received did (or did not) match their desires.

There is some sociological jargon, which I coped with using skills gained reading Foundation, but not so much as to obscure her point. Overall, the book was both interesting and useful. But I could wish that no-one had cause to read or write or be the subject of such study.

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Caroline M

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