Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
If you liked Henrietta Lacks, you'll love this!
on February 25, 2012
This book caught my eye the minute I saw it in the bookstore, and it didn't disappoint. My friend laughed, and said, "of course you would pick that one", which was true, it's my kind of book. Science, history, and religion, with a good story to tie it all together.
Mr. Wheelwright has clearly done his research. The genetics information is impressive in its scope, and yet delivered in a readable way. I learned a lot about the chronology of the gene sequencing discoveries which I did not know, and confirmed many things I already did.
A lot of the information is gathered from Jewish studies, as the BRCA 185delAG gene is found almost exclusively in that gene pool, which is a fascinating side bar of conventions and controversies as well
I have a friend who was undergoing preventative oopherectomy after discovering the BRCA gene when I began the book, and recovering from the reconstruction of her preventative mastectomy when I finished it, so it was an unbelievably timely read for me. The additional information about that gene helped make sense of a lot of things for me.
But it's not just a chick book. Mr. Wheelwright takes great care to weave the story of the family affected by the BRCA gene with the history of the New Mexico territory, the migration patterns of the Hispano settlers, and the religious beliefs, ethnic blends, and customs that impacted both of these. It is an amazing fabric when seen as a whole. As a "big picture person", I very much appreciated seeing the whole.
I can't wait to recommend this book to my book club, as I believe it has so many talking points and raises so many good questions, we will be up all night!