Interweaving evocative stories of Puri's family and the patients she cares for, That Good Night is a meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well, arming readers with information that will transform how we communicate with our doctors about what matters most to us.
To say that the practice of palliative care comes to vivid life in Sunita Puri’s pages may seem like a bad choice of words. But her memoir about tending to seriously, often incurably, sick people pulls off that feat ... Visceral and lyrical ... In a high-tech world, [Puri’s] specialty is not cures, but questions—about pain, about fraught prospects, about what ‘miracle’ might really mean. Her tool is language, verbal and physical. Wielding carefully measured words, can she guide but not presume to dictate? Heeding the body’s signals, not just beeping monitors, can she distinguish between a fixable malady and impending death? Puri the doctor knows that masterful control isn’t the point. For Puri the writer, her prose proves that it is.
Puri's writing shines when it's most personal; considering the intersection between spirituality and science, and seeing people turn to or away from faith in times of illness ... An affecting read about the limits of medicine and embracing that which is beyond one's control. The stories of Puri's patients and their families will resonate with readers.
This thoughtful treatise on life, death, and medicine should make readers feel more grateful for every day they have because, as Puri and her colleagues come to realize, no one knows what’s coming, or when, to their loved ones or themselves.