I absolutely loved this memoir. It’s not what anyone would call entertaining but it’s a representation of some of the things that happen in our lives. Purmort goes through a lot in just one year. I can’t even imagine the compounding tragedy that she deals with and I really wouldn’t want to.
It’s not preachy or about perseverance or anyone being able to do it. This is about Purmort’s journey and the way she’s felt about it and the way she’s handled it. Along the way she hears the same crazy things that people say as the authors of Everything Happens for a Reason and Bald is Better with Earrings, only this time she isn’t the patient but the survivor.
Being the patient sucks, and as both of the other books also explain, being the spouse isn’t a whole lot better. Sure, Purmort didn’t have to go through the chemo herself, but she did have to bury her husband at a young age and right after her father had passed as well and right after a miscarriage. She got all the same platitudes from people unsure of what to say and seems to have felt exactly the same about them.
What’s great about this memoir is the idea that life happens and we don’t always have to be okay with it, but we do generally have to get through it. Some of us are more lucky than others, and the debate on whether or not its better to have loved and lost depends entirely on where you are in the grief process. Still, Purmort doesn’t discount her blessings. She is more than aware of the places in life where she has been lucky.
As I mentioned above, I loved this book. It’s the book I needed to read right now for a myriad of reasons, gaining perspective being one of them. I recommend it to anyone interested in women’s memoirs, particularly those about dealing with the loss of loved ones, particularly when the loss is because of cancer. But really, I think anyone can appreciate her struggle and what she has to say about dealing with it. Click here to add it Goodreads.