Friday, July 29, 2011

All The Wiser

This book by author Kristin Sauerhoff is about her battle with breast cancer. I am a firm supporter of anything that will educate, inform, and frankly aid any woman or man who gets this disease.

That is where the problem comes in reviewing a book like this. If a great review is given then am I just doing so out of compassion? However if I give an unfavorable review, am I being a heartless wench with no feeling.

I am a book and product reviewer and I am going to give my honest impressions. Initial impression is the starkness of the book, the cover has no real bells and whistles, and frankly that is a huge draw for me on a book like this. Simply the cover fits. I like that the designer did not over do pink.

The book is broken into two sections mainly. There is the first part that is based off of her online blog that she kept while going through this ordeal, and she then follows with reflections that she brings her post or later insights to bear. Now this was a great part, and one I enjoyed. The editing is spot on, the book is laid out and presented very nicely. Her blog entries range from funny to heart breaking.

The author did a wonderful job on this. Now if this book was this alone I would give it 5 stars and brag till my voice is harsh. However, where the author then countered this is on the second section or part.

The second part is medical information that is designed to inform the reader, family or other person. This woman is not a doctor, however she gives very medical "advice." Now she doesnt specifically say "take 2 tablets and call me in the morning." However the medical information in the second half of the book that I think she "meant" to inform, frankly befuddles and confuses her work in the first part. The information is very technical, and loses me as a reader, I had two friends read her book, with no input from me, except and I quote. "Great book, read this and tell me what you think."

There response from both was great on the first part, lost on the second. My one friend even went so far as to ask if this book was also designed for doctors to read.

She really should have kept the technical medical information out of the work. I was being pulled into her story, I felt (and still do feel) great respect for her courage in the battle she faced, I felt empathy for her two children, and her husband. THEN... Part two came. She should have delineated the medical information at best, put it into more layman's terms.

Now in all fairness I think I know where she "wanted" to go with the medical part. However the very technical information included really dampened the read for me. I went from one extreme to another when going into part two.

Part one deserved 5 stars, but with part two and it's confusing, technical jargon that really brought the overall scope of the book down. I have to give it...

3.5 stars

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