Saturday, 6 August 2011
Gift of Time: A Family’s Diary of Cancer
Told with humour, grace and searing honesty, Rory, Katrin and Joan lay bare their innermost emotions as they come to terms with this dreaded disease – to the extent that the reader sometimes feels like a voyeuristic intruder, blithely eavesdropping on their most private of thoughts.
However, the benefit of this intensely personal, warts-and-all account is that it throws into harsh relief the devastating effects of cancer on the sufferer, while also giving unique insight into often-overlooked plight of those left behind to pick up the pieces – the family, the friends and the carers. Cancer, it seems, is all-consuming - and in more ways than one.
It cannot be denied that parts of this book are uncomfortable to read – it is, after all, a chronicle of death. It forces the reader to confront the one basic truth that we spend so much time trying to ignore – the fact death is an inevitable and inescapable part of the human condition. However, despite this, the book is strangely life-affirming – in acknowledging death, it also succeeds in celebrating life … and the indomitability of the human spirit.
A truly remarkable book – Gift of Time should be essential reading for mortals everywhere.
"Gift of Time: A Family's Diary of Cancer" by Rory MacLean with Joan and Katrin MacLean is out on August 18th.
It is published by Constable, an imprint of Constable & Robinson.