No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need To Hear)

Random. Sept. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9780593230770. $27. MEMOIR
In this memoir, Bowler (history of Christianity, Duke Divinity Sch.; Everything Happens for a Reason) talks about receiving a diagnosis of stage-four colon cancer; this begins a series of reflections on the evolution of Bowler’s illness and her emotional journey through the ups and downs of responding to cancer. Bowler’s affecting narrative meditates on the things she’s just faced; she also takes it as an opportunity to reflect on the past and the kind of life she wants for herself in the future. Bowler writes about all of it with good humor, occasional anger, and vivid honesty, when she’s discussing remission, the toll of the cancer cure, and the incredible hassle of getting a disability parking permit from Duke because her physician didn’t properly write the request. Most poignantly, she talks about dealing with oncologists who aren’t straightforward with her about her diagnosis. Through it all, she survives, offering along the way fresh insight on life and chronic illness.
VERDICT General readers will be engrossed by this heartfelt memoir of sickness, family, and recovery. The table that serves as an appendix of complicated truths is worth the price of the book.
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