"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Well done, Rebecca Skloot! It takes a special kind of talent to turn a scientific process into a page-turner of a best seller and this talented author has done just that. While I recognize her talent, her research, and her tenacity, I didn't love this story. 
Perhaps because of my profession, the science-speak got old fast. Reading this was like being at work. That is by no means Skloot's fault and a less talented writer would have lost me in the first 25% but it made this one a struggle for me all the same. 
I found myself getting frustrated with all the -isms of Henrietta's family. I get mired in the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' kind of thinking, forgetting that it isn't always that easy. I wanted the Lacks relatives to get busy helping themselves and improve their lives. I kept hoping they would move past the injustice suffered by Henrietta and start making some moves of their own to address their circumstances. I admired Debra's attempts to do exactly that but was disappointed that she seemed to be the only one. 

You will find an official plot line description at: 

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