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Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain Hardcover – November 9, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451606052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451606058
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Natalie Cole has survived alot. The death of her father Nat King Cole when she was a young girl, horrific drug abuse that nearly took her life, and some bad marriages to name a few (check out her first memoir Angel on My Shoulder!). However she's always managed to come out on top.

Although she's been clean since 1983, her past heroin addiction came back to haunt her when she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in July 2008. Weekly injections of the treatment drug interferon shut down Nat's kidneys, forcing her to undergo kidney dialysis three times a week. As if that weren't awful enough, Natalie's older sister Carole nicknamed "Cookie" was dying from lung cancer.

In L.A., a pregnant woman by the name of Jessica happened to tune into Larry King Live where Natalie talked about waiting for a kidney transplant and thought about finding a way to help her. Sadly Jessica passed away while giving birth, but her family was able to give Nat her kidney since she was an organ donor. Is that a miracle or what?

Alternating between the voices of Natalie and Jessica's sister Patty, both explore their painful losses and powerful gains of how their lives crossed. Love Brought Me Back is filled with sadness, faith, and the power of love.
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Format: Hardcover
Love Brought Me Back is a beautifully written book. Natalie Cole has been through a serious storm (that's an understatement) in the last two years. The book reads so well. It's interesting the way the reader is brought along the journey into Natalie's life, as well as Patty and Jessica's lives.

The book kept me wanting to turn the pages to see what would happen next. It was a happy ending to such a sad story of how Natalie got so sick, her wonderful sister Cooke became suddenly ill, as well as the loss on both sides (Cooke and Jessica). Then, it was amazing as to how the Lord blessed Natalie's life through Jessica (the beautiful donor), and how Patty was able to feel her sister's presence through meeting Natalie. It is awesome that Natalie shared the greatest lessons that she learned, as well as the four principles that Cooke past on to her; they are strong messages that are very useful.

I enjoyed this memoir very much and was sad to see it come to an end. Love did bring Natalie Cole back; God has done it again!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an awesome display of survival, blessings, second chances and ultimately love. Natalie Cole has has been through so much, yet she continues to come out on top. At some very low points in her life, she desparately clings to her love of music and her faith to bring her through, and yes, she triumphs. Once you start, you will not put this book down until the end and you will be encouraged to continue in your life's journey. You Go Girl !!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Due to the fact that Hepatitis C was only recently analyzed in great depth by the medical profession like never before, this book was on the cusp of the discoveries and life saving amazing techniques. It really is the story of the beautiful singer, daughter of famed Nat King Cole. Natalie Cole is beautiful, spiritual, sincere, kind, friendly, warm and devoted.
All of this shines through in this book making it a very valuable resource for anyone who has been affected by this personally or in their own family or with close friends.
GOD BLESS Her for her strength, honesty, and willingness to share.
May she save many lives in this process and this is just the vehicle to do that.

Thank You Natalie from the depth of my heart
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Format: Hardcover
My reviews are usually critical, but Natalie, you are a shining light. Lived how you spoke of your father and seeing you and I went through similar experiences in 1965, my grandmother died the same year and five months after your father, it was something to discover that you opened the door to that bedroom and saw the last vestiges of life in your father. That's the exact way I found my grandmother five months later in Los Angeles. Your relationship with your first cousin Cooke, who you called your sister was nothing short of miraculous and I could not believe such a strong individual had died. She didn't even live long enough to see you get the long-awaited transplant. Cooke's love to you was real love. During your bout with heroin she said no out of love and concern and like a bird she released you to your own auspices for survival. This kind of love is very difficult to envelope and you were very lucky to have her in your life. I don't say this often to anyone, much less famous people or stars, but you are a true inspiration to me and many others, I am sure. I hope you live with "Jessica" a very long and fruitful life!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Inspirational and compelling to see how two completely separate lives are brought together through tragedy and loss. And how ultimately, purpose healing and strength emerge from what appear to be hopeless situations. Love truly conquers all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just love the way Natalie Cole "talks". This is the second book of hers that I have read. Even though it is co-written with another, the way she talks comes through. I read this book cover to cover (I got it on the Kindle) very quickly. An easy fast read and also as with her other book is very inspirational.
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