This is the only thing that would get me blogging tonight, because I am on page 128 of Sophie Hannah's thriller 'Little Face' (which most of the world discovered long ago, but I'm religious about my thriller reading, sticking to Raymond Chandler and Sara Paretsky exclusively, until earlier today when I started 'Little Face' - I may never read another Paretsky again), and it is absorbing and gripping beyond all distractions, but...this is Meg Rosoff's review of TOYPD, so I'm just going to post it as fast as I can....!
Rosoff's teen novel, The Way We Live Now is today listed as one of The Telegraph's top ten classic children's novels.
There's a review of TOYPD in today's Jewish Chronicle, written by Robert Low, European Bureau Chief of Reader's Digest. This is funny because if you were playing the game of match the book to the reviewer, I suspect even the most accomplished players of the game might not have come up with this particular match - and if anybody at the JC is reading this, I'm curious to know how the match was made. But it's a lovely review (for which many grateful thanks!), which you will have to buy the paper or subscribe online to read in whole.
However, he raises the God issue again, just like my Simon and Schuster editor, Kerri Sharp.
The one thing that is missing is religion. Though Rabinovitch is clearly an observant, Orthodox Jew, there is little reference to this side of her life in relation to her illness, beyond such things as querying whether she should fast on Tisha B'Av. It would have been interesting to know whether she had found any solace in religion during such an ordeal.
"OK, well that," Anthony said, reading this bit of the review to himself, "was written by somebody who doesn't know you."
I suppose I wonder exactly what lies behind this fascination with how religious people cope with illness. It comes up quite regularly - American doctors telling me that people who know they are being prayed for deal with their illness better than others. For the record I don't believe God sent me this illness, nor do I believe that God will cure it for me. These things happen for physiological reasons we don't yet know - but will one day work out - and the cure will be discovered too.
And now, you know, it's erev erev erev Pesach and the last thing religious Jews like me have time for is discussions of religious faith! Chag Sameach everybody.
This is frightening...I haven't even heard about this drug that apparently others are buying online. How trial-happy would you have to be to try something out that hasn't been pre-tested on humans?
At each stage of cancer I keep thinking, "if only I'd known it was going to come to this, I'd have been really happy with the stage I was at before." Now I'm wondering if I'll get to the stage where I order drugs off the internet. Extremely frightening.
Anthony, my husband, gave a speech the other night to a gathering of Jewish doctors. A neuro-surgeon came up to him afterwards to say, "I hear your wife is ill, what does she have?" "I can tell you exactly," Anthony said, "because you're a doctor. She has metastatic breast cancer, small tumours round her pancreas, and spots on her lungs."
And then the neuro-surgeon said this, which I have never heard from a breast cancer specialist, but pass on for what it's worth. He said: "you know, don't you, that women with metastatic breast cancer are a category all of their own - they live forever. It's become a chronic condition, they defeat all other expectations and categories."
No idea if he's right or not, no idea even if I find it a cheering thing to be told - the first thing you learn when you have this disease is to screen out other people's comments - just thought I'd pass it on, because it keeps popping back into my head ever since Anthony passed it on to me.
The Mishcon de Reya bike ride has just raised its first thousand pounds in sponsorship - and this before any clients have been approached, as you can read in this note from Joanna, who's running the cyclists, so to speak:
We just got over the £1k mark and are yet to start the big push to
clients - I did just manage to screw up by sending an email to all the
lawyers and barristers we use a lot to tap them up, but instead of bcc-ing
them, I cc-ed them, so they can all see each other's names - opps - oh
well, maybe peer pressure will work - or I will be given a thick ear by
some of them - who knows? Who cares? Hope you are okay and have got
over the disappointment of the" Previously on ANTM" episode on Monday -
I hate that round up one - so cheap when we want to see more
Meanwhile, those of us who are not running marathons are completely behind Michala (without whom TOYPD would never have been finished):
I'm currently in training (started walking to the train station rather
than getting the bus!) for my bike ride in May to help raise money for
CTRT. I haven't been on a bike since I was 12, no joke! I've even
rallied a few friends together to join in. I just hope I can stay on the
I happen to know we're already on the way to 50k - there's a lunchbox in my kitchen heaving with notes and coins, because Nina and her chums have their t-shirts printed, their training schedules rigorously ignored (sorry, kept to) and they have already collected several hundred pounds in sponsorship for the run they are doing. Talya Mullish's mum, Sharon, did the Primark sprint to get the t-shirts, Nina designed the logo, and the printing is under way. Sharon has also been leafleting neighbours and fellow teachers at school. These guys are professionals, I warn you.