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Nora KrugIn the burgeoning genre of the cancer memoir, Norton's contribution is exceptional. As she chronicles the harrowing details of her treatment, Norton is witty and bracingly unsentimental.
—The Washington Post
At the beginning of Norton's memoir, the most compelling thought for the reader is to avoid medical treatment in Paris (free though it may be), as the description of her health-care adventures are horrifying at best. Eventually, Norton, a thirtysomething black woman married to a Frenchman, settles in to a wonderfully enlightening and honestly (if somewhat digressively) written account of her struggle with inflammatory breast cancer. A California native, Norton comes from an educated and affluent family and had the air of entitlement to prove it. But she was truly humbled by this disease, especially by its indignities and appalling survival statistics. She moved with her husband and 11-month-old son back to her parents' sphere, where she did the requisite chemo, surgery, radiation, and more chemo. Her tone may be facetious, her language colorful, and her distractions gritty (readers will gasp at the taxidermy activities of a former neighbor), but her view of cancer (funny and irreverent) and her place in the world (she found herself "waiting for a miracle. Not a miracle to save my life, but the miracle to make something of it") will make readers stand up and cheer. Highly recommended for most libraries.
Posted August 14, 2013
Posted August 16, 2009
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