From Publishers Weekly
A second memoir (after Angel on My Shoulder) by singer Cole, daughter of legendary Nat King Cole, proves a stunning, uplifting, however brief story of her sudden diagnosis of hepatitis C and her subsequent need for a kidney transplant. In 2008, Cole, age 60,was told she had a serious liver infection, the result of a virus long dormant that she no doubt contracted 25 years before as an intravenous heroin user. She required weekly injections of interferon, a form of chemotherapy, which rendered her terribly ill and eventually shut down her kidneys. In alternating sections that make little sense at first before converging powerfully with the main story, a 32-year-old Latina woman in L.A. named Jessica suffered pre-eclampsia while pregnant and died in May 2009, her organs donated to an agency that quickly came to Cole's rescue. Successfully fitted with Jessica's kidney, Cole survived. However, there are numerous tragic intersections to this too abrupt narrative: the haunting death of her father in 1965, when he was only 46 and Cole 15; the loss of her brother, Kelly, to AIDS in 1995; and most poignantly, the recent death of her stepsister and kindred spirit, Cooke, during the time that Cole had been handed the means to save her own life. Grief battles with spiritual faith and transcendence in Cole's moving personal story. (Nov.) (c)
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Natalie Cole, singer and daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole, looks back on a two-year period that strengthened her faith, when she lost a beloved sister and gained years of life with a kidney transplant. Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C possibly from heroin use earlier in her life. Conflicted between choosing chemotherapy and the natural medicines urged by her sister, Cooke, she threw herself into the healing power of music. She looks back over her life, recalling memories of her famous father, his music, and colleagues from Frank Sinatra to Sammy Davis Jr., finding faith during rehab, and ultimately revisiting her father’s musical legacy. When chemotherapy and dialysis couldn’t any longer sustain her, she went on the donor list. Interspersed throughout are recollections by Patricia, the woman whose sister, Jessica, killed in a hit-and-run accident, ultimately supplied the kidney for Cole. Cole and Patricia offer twin voices of love and devotion to their sisters and the significance of their faith. --Vanessa Bush