“Blood Work” – New Reviews
New York Magazine reports that over sixty percent of Young Adult (YA) books are being bought by people aged eighteen to forty-four. The original target readership for young adult literature—twelve to eighteen—amounts to less than twenty percent of purchasers.
So I’m delighted to share with you these recent reviews of “Blood Work”, my new novel about sixteen-year-old Moraig’s ordeal with cancer and its treatment. All three come from “retirees” – though I should quickly add they are all still living their lives to the full!
I read this book from start to finish in two days. What a wonderful experience! My head is filled with so many thoughts and ideas that I find it hard to put them all into words.
The author has vast experience not only in treating young people with cancer like ’Raig, but also in attending fully to those who are closely tied to such patients through family or friendship. He captures beautifully how the patient and her family struggle to cope with the inevitable onslaught of terrifying challenges. Such insights are hugely complex, but vital to express so that we can all understand them. How few doctors have the time to address all these aspects of the cancer experience.
I loved how the writer captured so clearly and so often what must have been going through sixteen-year-old Raig’s head. And how she grew and matured through an ordeal that more than once threatened to end her life. And I was astonished to find in this book so many similarities to my own life. From our nephew’s cancer, and how it affected our whole family, to the head injury Raig suffers, which I too have experienced. And the huge benefit to her healing that she gains from drumming and other art forms.
I suspect many other families will have similar reactions as they read this story. Thank you for this book—a must-read for all ages.
Hiltrud Hengst, writer, aged 81
I just finished your book also and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well written, informative, moving, and with good narrative; I felt it totally believable! I know you were worried about being able to write in the voice of a young female, and I’m not young anymore, but it still felt like I was reading a young woman’s story.
Helen Leger, retired flight attendant and professional musician
I had the pleasure of reading your latest work a couple of weeks ago and found myself busy and travelling a little since then. The late, great, and venerable Chogyam Trungpa left us many wonderful aspiration chants. The one I’m lucky enough to practice with ends as: “May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase now and in the future. May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams. May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena. May we go to the places that scare us. May we lead the life of a warrior with ever-increasing courage to be gentle.”
Even as your book laid on the table, it became a wonderful tool of practice and healing. Going to the places that scare us is imbedded between these covers. Witnessing your personal journey of healing through this work is wisdom and compassion increasing now and in the future. As your characters increasingly break down the barriers between their worlds, the dream-like quality of life and healing seemed timeless. Rap’s gentle character is a warrior in action.
Thank you for sharing two hundred and thirty-three pages of appreciating the great perfection of all phenomena.
Wendell White, Yoga instructor and musician