My book review of 'Many Different Kinds of Love' by Michael Rosen
Many Different Kinds of Love
There are flashes of wry humour and quirky, interesting illustrations in this rather special book.
It is a deeply moving and often unsettling account, through letters and verse, of one man's experience of having Covid, and its aftermath.
That man is the much-loved children's writer, poet and wordsmith, Michael Rosen.
Early in 2020, Michael Rosen became ill, struggling to breathe. His wife took him to hospital and he remained there for some months, six weeks of which in an induced coma. When he was able to return home he had lost the sight in one eye and the hearing in one ear.
There's no getting away from the fact that this is difficult to read. The author sounds shellshocked and broken. But there is also strength and a sense of hope.
It is a powerful, significant and important record of his experience and something many, many others have lived through, too, in this past year.
While Michael's poems are undoubtedly brilliant, it was the diary of letters from the nursing staff that had the most profound effect on my reading of this book.
When he was in a coma, the nurses who attended him each left a message in a diary in his bed recording their shift and wishing him well. The tenderness, warmth and individuality of these letters was astonishing.