In Case of Emergency

In Case of Emergency


'It is a joy to read a debut that has such heart, humour, and pathos' Taylor Jenkins Reid
'The book of the summer' Stylist
'A witty, thought-provoking read' Woman and Home

Bel Kumar wakes up in hospital surprised and confused.

Surprised to be told she had a near-fatal accident outside work. And confused as to why her ex-boyfriend is by her bedside.

Bel's HR record still lists her ex as her next of kin, but she can't think of a less appropriate person to nurse her back to health.

But who can she turn to in a crisis? Over-invested parents? A sister whose life has turned out perfectly? Friends she exchanges dating woes with over cocktails?

If this experience has taught Bel anything, it's that she should reconnect with the most important people from her past. But that's going to be easier said than done because Bel has never been good at asking for help.

And she's doing just fine on her own... Isn't she?!


'An instant rom-com classic' Lindsey Kelk

'Switching between the past and present, In Case of Emergency is a novel of self-realisation and the freeing power of defying both familial and societal expectations. It's simply impossible not to root for Bel' CultureFly

'Fans of Dolly Alderton's Ghosts and Emma Jane Unsworth's Adults will adore IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. This book reminds us all that no matter how capable we might be, we're nothing if not properly connected to those around us. A remarkable and thought-provoking debut!' Laura Jane Williams

'A gorgeous read full of warmth, humour and relatable moments that make you realise you're less alone in the world. The perfect book to curl up with this summer. I adored it' Salma El-Wardany

'Funny and clever with a ton of swagger' Stacey Duguid

'I inhaled this book. You really root for Poorna's characters. They're both relatable and relevant' Natasha Devon

'We loved this warm and thoughtful read' Sun on Sunday

'Journalist Bell writes with panache about a young woman finding herself... and finding what matters' Daily Mail

'We predict [In Case of Emergency] is going to be the book of the summer' Stylist

'Bel is wonderfully flawed and relatable, and this is a witty, thought-provoking read. Great 90's references too' Woman Magazine

'There's a moment in which the author describes the first sparks of love, a feeling so small yet unstoppable, with such aching delicacy it took my breath away' Ranvir Singh


  • Poorna is fantastically skilled at crafting a narrative that is both entertaining and funny, but also pointed and thought-provoking. I loved IN CASE OF EMERGENCY and am going to miss hanging out with Beryl (and quietly willing her to see that being loved doesn't look or feel how you imagine).
    Clemmie Telford

About the author

Poorna Bell

Poorna Bell is an award-winning journalist and author of fifteen years, former Executive Editor and Global Lifestyle Head for HuffPost. She won Stylist's Rising Star award for 2019, Red magazine's Big Book Award for 2019. She was named as one of Marie Claire's top 30 women and is a Balance magazine top 100 Wellness personality. A judge for the Mind Media Awards and for the Costa Book Awards, Poorna has written for Red, the Telegraph, The Times, Stylist, I News, BBC, the Guardian and Grazia.

Poorna has published three works of non-fiction: Chase The Rainbow, In Search of Silence and Stronger, which is part memoir, part manifesto about women's strength and fitness. She is an experienced public speaker and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio.

In Case of Emergency is Poorna's first work of fiction.
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