64 Followers
51 Following
meganbaxter

meganbaxter

I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot Part of my ongoing attempt to read at least a few of the books that are popular at any given time. This book has been on both the Globe and Mail and New York Times Bestsellers lists for much of the past year. And I don't know if it's a classic, but it was a good read.

The author does a fairly good job of juggling what is really two stories - the story of the cells cultured from Henrietta Lacks' cervical cancer (without her permission, at a time when permission was rarely asked), and the story of the children Henrietta Lacks left behind, and their struggles consistently being denied information about what those cells were and what was being done with them. The two stories intertwine around the theme of poor people, particularly, in this case, poor black people, and their interactions with a medical system that they have every reason to be deeply suspicious of.

It's also a tale of medical ethics, and how much and how little has changed in regards to tissue samples and patients' rights to donate, know what has happened to, and to make money from, if money is being made, parts of their body left behind in doctors' offices.

I don't know if it's one that will hold up to a reread, or if I feel the need to reread it, but for a book that's popular these days, it's quite good.