Monday, December 24, 2007


Review Written by Floots

Perhaps it will seem strange to some that I, as a man, feel moved to review, and hopefully encourage others to read, this book. The truth is that cancer in its many forms touches most of us in some way: in my case it stole both of my parents and has undoubtedly left me with my own latent fears and an unspoken empathy with those who are struck by it and, of course those who are close to them.

Nasra Al Adawi deals with breast cancer and cervical cancer and does so in a unique and comprehensive way. She uses professional, medical advice to let her readers learn more about the illnesses but, equally importantly, she uses her own poetry, and that of others, together with first person accounts from women who have undergone the physical and emotional pain of cancer.
The truth is that these particular cancers carry so much emotional weight in terms of self-image and sexuality and it is vital that these aspects are dealt with as they are within these pages. The Route, one of the poems, sums it up all too well: “The path of living is not a silky route.” Brave Face speaks of “wailing inside.”Then, moving on to the first person accounts, we learn from Jane Doe about the suffering of loved ones: the cancer can have a profound effect upon them. I think that we can easily “understand” this in a cool, objective way but hearing it from a patient gives the knowledge new meaning and impact.Should money be an issue in the treatment of such illnesses? Obviously not - but reality says otherwise and we can see this in the writing of Farida Bawazir.Or look at the words of Jane Smith, and remember that she did not survive.These brief references cannot do justice to the whole book. I was put in mind of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, which gives us insight into that tragedy by letting us here of it from the viewpoint of those who were there.

Nasra Al Adawi gives us the same privilege when dealing with her topic. It is a book for all: men, women, sufferers, non-sufferers, friends and loved ones. Let this book give your information, advice and, above all, inspiration. As the author says in her poetry, “face the waves” and deal with “the trenches of life.” This is a book full of reality, hope - and heart. Read it now.

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