Reviewed by: Pete Barber
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Approximate word count: 35,000-40,000 words
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I couldn’t find any information about Margaret Forrest.
When Kate Thomas finds a lump on her breast, she fears the worst. After all, her mother died from breast cancer. The story follows Kate for twelve days as she undergoes medical and personal tests triggered by her discovery.
I was captivated by Kate’s personality: genuine, intelligent, necessarily fearful (because of the lump), at times irreverent but also introspective. This story could easily be non-fiction--an autobiographical description of how Kate’s life turned upside down. Real or not, the author had me believing. At times, I laughed aloud at Kate’s wry life observances. A few sentences later, I’d be sharing her fear and approving of her seemingly irrational reaction to how people treated her and her lump.
I read the story in one sitting. The prose is clean, crisp and engaging throughout. Try this for a description of how Kate feels after taking her mammogram: “I feel as though I’ve just boarded a train without knowing where it’s taking me.” Ahhh, nice words.
The author illustrates her tale with a number of charming, poignant pencil sketches. These images were a wonderful surprise, and they sucked me into the story even more, adding a layer of humanity and personal detail that enriched my reading experience.
I’ve recommended the story to my step-daughter (who recently recovered from breast cancer) I know she’s going to empathize and laugh along with Kate. But you don’t need any association with cancer to enjoy this book--highly recommended.