RTW: Most Surprising Read

by ninivenable

My pitiful looking “book jar” tells me I haven’t read that many books this year, so I only have a small selection to choose from. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks stands out. Although I thought this book would be enjoyable, I wasn’t at all expecting to love it and actually come close to crying over it. It’s based on the true life of Henrietta Lacks, a young woman who died of cancer. Unknown to her and her family, her cancerous tissues, named HeLa, were used from anywhere to finding the cure for polio to being flown into space. Rebecca Skloot manages to weave a story that covers racism, ethics and even mystery- the details surrounding what happened to Henrietta’s oldest daughter, Elsie Lacks, was especially heartbreaking. But of course, what made the book stand out- and even Skloot agrees with this -is Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s second daughter. Immortal Life is a bit like a biography and autobiography on Deborah. She’s been through so much since her mother’s death, and her anger and joy reads through the book- she’s this book heart.
I would write more, but the emotions from reading this book are coming back to me.