Another lovely review of Blood Work from retired English teacher Zane DeNoncourt –
“Just finished Blood Work. What a read! Excellent! Thank you. Can’t say enough marvelous words about this book!
How do I love this book??? Let me count the ways. It is well crafted. Deceptively well crafted!
I love the teen dialogues! Very realistic. Even though they set my teeth on edge, as a one-time English teacher! We do not often “read” this kind of dialogue. We just hear it! Much of the plot is carried by dialogue, making the story ripple along! When the dialogue is between young people, it is very teenager-y and very “now”.
Point of view: I liked the diversity within the cast of characters. The upfront voice is of a 16-year-old girl suddenly struck down with blood cancer. The guiding voice in the background is an experienced, wise and compassionate cancer specialist. I learned a lot about medical procedures, medical roles and personalities.
Characters: all the characters are well developed, and each one “transforms” through the story. For me, what really brought this story a few notches above any other was the description of an out-of-body experience that the teenager had while undergoing an emergency procedure, and how life-changing it was for her, and how that experience revitalized her path moving forward.
Two other highlights of this multilayered good read: the value of mindfulness meditation to calm the patient’s mind, and the value of art therapy in healing into a more expanded sense of self.
I would highly recommend this book to the 50 percent of us who are predicted to get a cancer diagnosis, and the other 50 percent who will be caregivers! Although the story told here is the journey of a teenager, I feel that the emotional and medical journey with cancer at any age is quite similar. A penetrating and compassionate look into a dreaded topic, cancer. Truth will set us free of fear.”