Kelly's Reviews > Breathing for a Living: A Memoir

Breathing for a Living by Laura Rothenberg
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Aug 26, 08

bookshelves: memoir, non-fiction

** spoiler alert ** I wanted to like this book so much, because I have something of an interest in chronic illness and cystic fibrosis, but I found it disappointing. Laura Rothenberg, a college student with cystic fibrosis (a terminal illness that affects the lungs), decides to undergo a double lung transplant. The book is the story of her wait for new lungs, told through journal entries and e-mail updates.

I was bothered by the fact that a portrait of Laura as a person didn't start to emerge until the portion of the book where Laura's friends and family wrote about her transplant. She had a boyfriend named Brian who isn't even mentioned in the first half of the book. Ill friends of hers are introduced and later die without any real explanation of their relationship to her. I can't tell if the author's illness and death contributed to the lack of editing. I wanted to read the story of Laura's life, but this book is ultimately the story of her death.
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