Often I beat around the bush a bit before I deliver my "verdict" about any particular book. In this case, though, I'll announce right away that I was immediately and thoroughly engaged by this book. It is very well written, and I finished it rather quickly, in just a few days. I found the author's story, told with candor and grace (and a welcome dose of humor), very absorbing. I enjoyed reading about her romance and marriage to Jacques, an easy-going optimist by nature. Cancer has a profound influence over the lives of Amy and her sisters, Julie and Sara, and their mother, Elaine. In this sensitive, highly-detailed memoir, which is heartbreaking at times, relationships are at the very core of the story, close and often complex relationships, and I felt privileged to read this personal account of her life. (I have three sisters, and this book made me think about my own relationships with them, and with my mother, and about our connections as family members.) As a writer, Amy Boesky is not afraid to expose her anxieties, not just about cancer but about other things, too, such as being a mother, especially in those miraculous yet daunting early days with an infant. Ultimately, I felt inspired by Amy's story, because she presents the glass as half-full, and her courage on a daily basis is remarkable. Instead of lamenting her possible fate, she lives life to the fullest, in spite of her fears, and appreciates the glorious details of everyday life.
"That’s how it is for me, thinking about the future. Two different shapes. One holding time, the other escaping it. One suggesting fragility, confinement; the other, something transcendent. Turn it one way, you see an hourglass. Turn it the other way, and you see wings."
~What We Have, Amy Boesky
I think many others would be equally interested in and inspired by Amy's story. Penguin Group is generously giving away a copy of What We Have (U.S./Canada only).
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Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for including me on this tour. For more reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on TLC's blog tour for What We Have.