A New York Times BestsellerPoet Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a year, the mother of two sons, married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. This is her exquisite memoir about learning how to live -- and love -- every day, with "death in the room."
"In this memoir, poet Riggs struggles through a breast-cancer diagnosis that, despite treatment and a mastectomy, stubbornly persists until it spreads and becomes terminal. During this battle, Riggs' mother has cancer that becomes terminal, Riggs' friend is diagnosed with cancer that becomes terminal, her son is diagnosed with diabetes, and her parents' dog dies. Throughout, Riggs, who sadly passed earlier this year, presses on, stoic and searching for a philosophy to describe this crazy situation, and for a treatment that will allow her more time with her husband and two young sons. Riggs is to be admired for candidly sharing the battle she fought, and for her no-holds-barred documentation of all the depleting minutiae of such a fight. Throughout, she sprinkles in the philosophies of life she ponders and the gallows humor that helps her cope, which readers may find off-putting in its depth of darkness. Overall, this brutally honest depiction of terminal illness is not for the faint of heart, but will be appreciated for its raw honesty.--Shaw, Stacy Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Riggs, who lives in Greensboro, N.C., was 38 when she was diagnosed with incurable metastatic breast cancer. The diagnosis comes at the onset of this moving and insightful memoir. Married to a lawyer, and the mother of two young sons, Riggs was initially told that the cancer was "one small spot," but as the memoir progresses (the sections are ominously yet cleverly named after the four "stages" of cancer), the small spot grows and spreads to her spine. She undergoes a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, spinal surgery, and joins a clinical trial. During the same period, Riggs's wisecracking and beloved mother, who had been fighting multiple myeloma for eight years, dies. Despite the profound sadness of her situation, Riggs writes with humor; the memoir is rife with witty one-liners and musings on the joys and challenges of mothering and observations on the importance of loving relationships. The great-great-great-granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Riggs frequently quotes her legendary relative and uses his writings as a guide, as well as the writings of the philosopher Montaigne, whose advice to "live with an awareness of death in the room" she takes seriously. In this tender memoir Riggs displays a keen awareness of and reverence for all the moments of life-both the light, and the dark, "the cruel, and the beautiful." (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved