Tuesday, November 9, 2010

141 - What We Have; Amy Boesky




















What We Have, a memoir by Amy Boesky is revealing look at the life of  a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and English Professor.  A courageous woman born into a family where all of the women (except one) died of ovarian cancer by their mid forties. 

Amy is determined to live her life and fulfill her dreams, of getting married and having two children by the age of thirty-five. She has decided to undergo voluntary surgery to have her ovaries removed when she turned thirty-five, the age when the risk of ovarian cancer dramatically increases.

Most of this story takes place in the course of one year, however, the reader does learn about how Amy meets her husband, insight into their careers, pregnancies, motherhood, and her close relationship with her two sisters, and her mother, who was terminally ill in this memoir.

What We Have was no ordinary memoir -- imagine living each day with a black cloud over your head. It would be easy to become depressed and obsessed, but the author does not exhibit the "poor me" attitude. Instead, Amy knew what she wanted to accomplish in life and made it happen. She chose to live her life to the fullest in spite of all the uncertainty. This memoir was well done and RECOMMENDED 

RATING - 4/5 Stars
Library Book

As a side note, I was up in the air about reading this book. You see that dreaded (C) word, is never too far from my mind either. In the case of my family, both my mother and older brother died from pancreatic cancer. None of us really know what the future has in store, so all the more reason to......"read the best books first...right?"

19 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one....I have similar feelings about books written on the topic of Alzheimers...my grandmother and all of her siblings suffered with this and we can see it beginning in my father as well. I just can't bring myself to read Lisa Genova's Still Alice.

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  2. I've been considering reading this one too. I think I will do so. Having experienced ovarian cancer myself, I'm interested. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

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  3. A great review, Diane. I totally understand your hesitation, as I've had an aunt, an uncle, and 2 brothers stricken by the dreadful disease. But yes, we should read the books before...

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  4. I have heard a lot about this book, but being a bit of a hypochondriac, I don't think this one is for me. I would probably be anxious and worried the whole time I was reading, and probably wouldn't enjoy the story, though it does sound oddly uplifting. Thanks for your thoughtful review on this one. It sounds like it hit close to home with you.

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  5. I admire people like Amy - I imagine I would be a downer in the same situation.

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  6. Great review of an interesting sounding memoir, Diane. When life is uncertain, it does force us into making decisions and doing things we'd normally put off. I'd love to read about how Amy Boesky and her family deal with that. I'll look it up in the library, thank you for bringing it to our attention!

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  7. Yes, always read the best first! Sounds like a positive book fur sure!

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  8. I think the big 'C' is never far from anyone's mind. We all seem to know someone who has either had it or died of it. It is still such a hard illness to come to terms with. I know a lady who had both her breasts removed just to be sure that she didn't have breast cancer return. Preventative may be the answer.

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  9. What a great review. I can understand your hesitation because colon cancer is predominant in my family. We can't let that fear take over our lives though...we need to live life for today!

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  10. I would also be a bit nervous (I know its like burying your head in the sand). My mother got breast cancer twice and my father died of lung cancer and I also have this cloud over me as it were.
    Thank you for sharing diane.

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  11. Diane, I also read this book. You did a really good job reviewing it. Ultimately, I found the book hopeful.

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  12. Wow, this is definitely a tough topic, and it's encouraging to hear that it's not a typical memoir. I'm very interested in reading this memoir also. Another great review!

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  13. This book sounds wonderful although I don't know if I could handle it. I have had to steer clear of heavier books like this lately.

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  14. This one sounds powerful and uplifting!! I have a friend who just went through surgery two weeks ago and have thought about her constantly. I couldn't imagine losing so many family members to cancer.

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  15. I guess in her situation, I would be so depressed. I am in awe of Amy. I am sure, this is going to be a great book and I am going to look for this one here.

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  16. I was curious about this one. I was interested in how she put on a happy face and lived life even though she had such darkness hanging over her. Not in the mood for it now, but I may read this in the future. I do like the memoirs.

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  17. I think a lot of people have this type of cloud hanging over their head. I know my dad was tense when he was about to turn 52 because that is the age his dad and grandfather died. Luckily, he made it past ... and then some.

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  18. I went back and forth about reading this one too at first, Diane, because of the subject matter. It turned out it was the perfect book for me when I did decide to read it. I am glad you ended up enjoying it!

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