Every one of us has been touched by cancer, whether it was a family member, a close friend or yourself, it is something that we all seem to have in common. I have walked with several different people on their journey with cancer. No journey is the same for any of them. Each fight is a very personal event and everyone reacts differently to the treatment, but one thing that journey can do is draw us all closer.
Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay is a book about two sisters, many years apart in age and yet with so much in common. They haven’t spoken in years because of what happened when their mother was dying of breast cancer. Jane is now in her own battle with breast cancer and Lizzy, because of the pleading of their father, returns home to help while Jane’s husband is overseas. The tension between the two has had several years to build and it will take something major to clear the air.
I really liked Katherine’s first book, Dear Mr. Knightley, but there is something very special about this book. I think it is because it is a topic that so many of us can relate to. Stress levels are elevated during a time of illness and we struggle to keep our emotions in check, but sometimes they win and we say what we are actually thinking. That is why I liked this book so much. The characters are very real, their emotions are at times raw but they come from the heart when dealing with something that can take a loved one away.
If you have never gone to a cancer clinic with someone while they are receiving chemo, Katherine does a really good job of showing how it is. How everyone cheers each other on during their treatment, but how they grieve when someone loses the battle. It can be a very beautiful place to visit even if it makes you uncomfortable at first. And once again, the emotions are real, from those who are just putting in time to get it over with, to others who are so very angry, but have no place to direct their anger.
A very interesting read and one I will recommend to many others.