Last month I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, an amazing non-fiction book about how the cells from one woman’s malignant tumor went on to be used in a thousand (if not more) labs across the world, helping discover treatments for many diseases, including cancer. The author meticulously researched this book and portrayed what I believe to be an honest account of Henrietta herself, as well as the family that survived her. You do need to have some interest I think, in medicine or science to truly enjoy this book. I thought it was fascinating and would most definitely recommend it to others who share my interest in science/medicine. There was some banter about the movie rights to this book being purchased by Oprah. So far, I haven’t heard about a movie in the works. Yet.
This month I read The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman. Wow. This was a book that I hated to see end! Ms Harman is a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) with many years of practice under her belt… this is important to me because, after spending 35 years myself “in the baby business” (NICU) and attending hundreds (and very possibly more than hundreds) of deliveries, I’m going to close any book that doesn’t keep it real. I liken it to my friend Lue Shetler, who cringes when she reads some of the “Amish” novels that are out there these days. Lue was Amish and lived the life well into adulthood, so she recognizes a poorly written, fake “Amish” story in a heartbeat. By the way, she’s working on a book of her own – and you know when it comes out, it will be true to the real Amish lifestyle. Okay, I digress…. this book was more about general nursing, not very much in the way of midwifery, but it was all totally believable and SO SO good. Set during the depression in the mid 1930’s West Virginia, Nurse Becky returns to Hope River, looking for work. This is the second in the “Hope River” novels and I sure hope there are plenty more to follow. Great book. Period.