The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Revelatory is the word that best sums up this book for me. I am interested in how the socioeconomic environment generally, and health systems in particular, affect our wellbeing, and I know about the inequities in the U.S. health care system that affect minorities and women. But all my studies did not give me the insights that this look into the death of one African American woman revealed. From the diagnosis and treatment of her cancer in the early 1950's, the book takes the reader on a journey through the labs of medical researchers, the theories of medical ethicists and the arguments in courts of law to explain how human tissues are used to research new drugs and treatments. But it doesn't stop there. The book parallels the scientific story with the saga of how one African American family experiences the American health care system: the indignities, the miscommunication, and the mistrust. I think everyone needs to read this book to understand what is going wrong with our health care system. But more importantly, white Americans need to read this book to better understand how people of color experience--or don't experience--health care in our country.
This book should be a must read for everyone. It covers everything from history to science, spans time from the 1950s through 2009. Cassandra Campbell was a pleasure to listen to, and the story is hard to put down.
THE INFORMATION AND WORDS USED ARE THOUGHT PROVOKING
I LIKE THAT THE AUTHOR STAYED PRESENT IN THE STORY WITHOUT TAKING IT OVER.
Their voices create a different picture than I would have gotten reading it on my own.
a human, more than cells
Wonder and heartbreaking all at the same time. It had me just about in tears at times. The authors respect for the family really shows. I can't recommend this book enough.
I love audio books and podcasts. I am a nerd but a slow reader so these books are a truly amazing.
This book has everything i love. A complex and interning story that is well written and weaves in the present day and history that i have never heard before. The author also touches on important social justice issues involving race, education, income inequality, informed consent, and medical research. This book informs and challenges on multiple levels. It should be taught in ever college introduction class.
I am so glad that the author decided to pursue this story and write it in a way to tell the story of the woman and her family. It put a personal touch to what happened to people in a time when they had no say, nor did they understand. Times have changed and science is now among us and destined to enrich the lives of the future. Henrietta's cells have made advancement in science and helped so many.
My hat is off to this author. Well done!
I loved this story! As a non-technical professional, this was the best possible mix of science and human interest.
As for the narrator, I was surprised to see so much praise for her performance. Maybe being an African American woman from the south made me particularly aware of how off her portrayals of black southerners were. I especially found the voices in the dialogues between Henrietta and her family members to extremely hard to listen to and almost offensive. Thankfully that wasn't a significant part of the reading; I couldn't have made it through otherwise. I would have preferred the voice actress who made occasional appearances to have a more prominent role. The narrator did a great job on the other aspects, but I truly cringed, clenched and shuddered almost any time a black "character" had something to say.