"Fascinating... Morland's philosophical, extremely well-written book suggests that while some people - bullfighters, soldiers, tightrope walkers - are obviously wired to relish dangerous lives, the timid rest of us may be braver than we think." ―Daily Mail
"A fascinating study... compelling... an appealing and original account of one of the greatest human virtues, full of powerful stories. It leaves you hopeful." ―Sunday Times
"A series of beautifully written vignettes that function as a meditation on bravery's lovely shimmer." ―Guardian
"Morland approaches her subject with energy, tenacious curiosity and, however much she may protest that she is lily-livered, courage... she proves the liveliest company: sane, merry and undeceived... a bracing, moving and uncommon book." ―Observer
What makes a violinist become a policeman, or a monk fall in love? How does someone lose eighteen stone in as many months? Or a follower of radical Islam turn his back on holy war? When can simply taking a new name usher in a new life? And how does a family adapt to the brain injury that changes their son or brother beyond recognition? These and other stories combine with a wealth of smart thinking from psychology, philosophy, literature and science as Polly Morland unravels the mysteries and the mechanisms of human change.
Most of us would like to change something about ourselves, although all too often we feel that we can't. Yet as this book shows, change is not an event-it is a process at which we are more skilled than we realise, a story we are already good at telling. Exploring how some people harness the change that governs all our lives and then succeed in shaping it, like master storytellers, toward the happy ending of their choosing, Polly Morland shows that change is possible for us all. Appealing to that part of anyone that is stuck in a rut, Metamorphosis is about how and why real people change, and how the imagination can become the engine of our transformation too.