Ella Berthoud first started prescribing novels when she was at university between herself and her friend Susan Elderkin, but soon started giving books to other friends and fellow students in need of counsel. Ella then went on to study fine art and became a painter and art teacher, but she continued to find the right novels for the people that needed them. In 2008 Ella and Susan set up a bibliotherapy service through The School of Life in London, and since then have been prescribing books either virtually or in person to clients all over the world. In 2013 they wrote The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies, which has been published in 17 countries, and in 2016 they wrote The Story Cure: An A-Z of books to keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise, which offers book prescriptions for children of all ages.