Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What We Have - Summer Book Review

How has your Summer reading been? I read some great ones this year, and recently had the chance to read WHAT WE HAVE: One Family’s Inspiring Story About Love, Loss and Survival - by Amy Boesky.

What would your outlook be if you knew women in your family died young... all from the same terrible killer.... ovarian cancer. How would life be with that looming over your everyday choices? Would you choose to live life to the fullest? Would you choose despair or love despite fear of fate?

Cancer recently touched my family so this book really hit home with me. My own Mother was quickly diagnosed and rushed for treatment/ surgery all in a whirlwind week. Though I do not have a long history of cancer in my family, her diagnosis made me think my own mortality and what I would do if my genes were against me. I have always wondered, as medicine makes giant strides in mapping and tracking genetic markers, if knowing you carry a marker for cancer would be a blessing and a curse all at the same time. This Memoir touched on just those questions as we share a journey to live and fight a terrible killer.

Since my daughter was
born I am drawn more and more to books that deal with the bonds between family... mothers and daughters as well as sisters. In this book cancer really makes an impact in all of those relationships as well as introducing heartbraking loss. But far from being a depressing read, which would be easy given the subject, I hung on every word and felt like a cheer leader waiting and hoping for all the best for Amy and her family.

I am not sure what I would do in a situation like this. I hope I would be brave enough to go ahead and seek the preventative surgery. This book brought up many questions and helped me to think about some of those scary what ifs. Does all this sound too deep? It is amazing how well this book was written. Amy Boesky makes it read like a novel with her readers hanging on every page. I was fascinated with the sisters and felt my heart break and swell along their journey.

I was warned that this c ould be a tear jerker... and yes, it felt good to cry in a few spots. I believe a good memoir should travel the full range of emotions. Be sure to have a box of kleenex at the ready!

Overall I would have to say I enjoyed it. I really loved the fact that I was thinking about the book long after I had set it down for the night. I have been recommending it to my friends and will also pass this title on to my book loving family members. Be sure to check it out in your local bookstore or order it on Amazon.com or Borders.

Amy Boesky teaches English literature and nonfiction writing at Boston College. For several years she was a principle ghost writer for the wildly popular Sweet Valley High series. That was a staple of my bookshelf during the 80's! She has also written other books for young adults and also children. You can visit WhatWeHave.org and learn more about her and this book.

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