I have recently re-read the Cancer Ward not knowing what to expect as I read it such a loooong time ago. And I'd love to say that it is a great read,I have recently re-read the Cancer Ward not knowing what to expect as I read it such a loooong time ago. And I'd love to say that it is a great read, still. It's one of those books that people claim to know for sure what it is about. And yes, it's about the Soviet era and the grim realities of those fifties under communism, yes, it is about this horrible illness and the hospital scene, and yes it is about humans facing death. But it is also and I think primarily about life. It is about how to live life. One of the main characters poses the following question to his fellow patients: "what is the most important thing in life?" And the novel tries to hint at some answers. I found it very life affirming and a wonderful read. Highly recommended....more
The Prague Cemetery move aside, here comes The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
This super interesting, well written book made me put all my other reaThe Prague Cemetery move aside, here comes The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
This super interesting, well written book made me put all my other reading aside and embark on a non-stop marathon of reading until I reached the very end of the story.
I like how the author left no stone unturned and explored the whole of the story not missing any of the tributaries that contributed to Henrietta Lacks’s universe.
I like how she made room for all the different voices and let them speak unhindered and tell their individual stories without superimposing herself on top.
I like it how whenever she came upon a new character or a new fact, she paused the main story and offered a very thorough explanation, including all the details and all the flavours. To the reviewer of The Guardian I say yes, the sandwich eating episode is absolutely necessary to make the story as vivid and as palpable as it is.
I like that she wrote economically and clearly, creating an engaging, suspenseful and compelling narrative that is almost too overwhelming and yet it is not too long.
I like how the author’s compassion shines through and makes the reader stop and reflect on the treatment of human beings by doctors and scientists.
I like how she not only informs but is whole-heartedly dedicated to the real person of Henrietta Lacks and to her large family.
I like how she made room for all the feelings and emotions experienced by Henrietta’s family members, especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah and she refrained from exploiting them and offered her friendships to all of them.
I like how the author acknowledged and included all her sources and offered thanks to the not so small army of people who supported her throughout the process of creating the book. In fact hers is the longest running acknowledgement I have ever seen in a book. I love it.
Finally I like the fact that the author created The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, a non-profit organization and donated a portion of her book’s proceeds to it in order to help Henrietta’s descendants and others in their education.
Thank you Rebecca Skloot for writing this very important, informative, compassionate, insightful, vivid and suspenseful narrative and thank you for creating a very tangible good out of this heartbreaking story....more