Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Recommendation: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

First of all, I'd like to apologize- it's been a while since I've reviewed a book here. Part of the reason for this is that I've been incredibly busy and distracted, but another reason is that I've gone through a string of disappointing books (I plan to write about this later). Fortunately, Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks broke the "bad book cycle" and reassured me that yes, there are still mind-blowing books to be read.

Skloot's book is a carefully researched work of non-fiction that reads like a page-turning novel. It is the story of the infamous HeLa cells and their contribution to modern science, but it is also a family drama, an ethics debate and an enthralling biography of one of the most interesting and important personas in science. Skloot is dogged in her search for the truth behind Henrietta Lacks and open and honest about the trials and conflicts she dealt with during the many years she perused this story. From the first page, I was engaged in Skloot's search for Henrietta and, although I couldn't put the book down, I desperately wanted to slow down in my reading so that I could stretch out the experience longer. This was a story I didn't want to end, and if that isn't a hallmark of riveting writing then I don't know what is.

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