Book review: “Take Me to the San”

Christian Miles' reservations of reading "Take Me to the San" were quelled as soon as she opened it.

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“Take Me to the San”: Stories from a Hospital with a Mission
Branimir Schubert and Denise Murray (editors)

Before I picked up “Take Me to the San”—when all I had seen was the book cover—I imagined a book with lots of working stories from my own days as a student at the hospital, like nurses dropping bedpans, students pranking each other, power cuts during surgery, and on and on. Could be a fun read, I thought.

Then I saw the back of the book and became concerned that this might be merely a bland corporate history to promote one of our favoured institutions. But then I was asked to review the book, which meant I had to read it sooner than I might have otherwise. And it caught my imagination—and I’ve been thinking on it ever since.

Sydney Adventist Hospital—still better known as “The San”—is iconic. From its very beginnings in the early 1900s to the present day, it has been a place with a mission, and the many people who have worked and continue to work there know its mission: “Christianity in Action.”

Collecting the experience and stories of 12 contributors, who each have long connections with the hospital, “Take Me to the San” perfectly demonstrates the hospital’s mission with a collection of stories from its history, as well as reflections on how this history has been shaped by mission and what it means to be a hospital with a mission today.

The San is our hospital, regardless of whether or not you ever require its services. And Take Me to the San” will not only give you warm fuzzies because it is our, but it will also invite you to question your own Christian walk—how are you living out your mission and witness where you are?

“Take Me to the San” is an excellent read, which should also be available in every church and school library. And, particularly if you have your own history with the San, you will probably want your own copy as well.

“Take Me to the San” is available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand or online.


Christine Miles is Adventist Book Centre manager, New Zealand.