This is at the top of my list for audiobook recommendations. It's easy to follow, well performed, and fascinating. There is the science story - the quest for, the prolific growth of, and the business of immortal cells. A human story - children discovering that part of their mother lives on. The author's quest - to reveal the life behind the immortal cells and to lay out the ethical breaches in their history. It's a few months since I finished listening and it has stayed with me more than most books.
Rebecca Skloot, the author. She did a great job of talking about what she was doing without giving the impression that the book was about her. Her persistence is remarkable.
Cassandra Campbell has a good reading voice and pacing. Having Bahni Turpin read some of the dialogue made an easy division between narration and characters. I wish more audiobooks would make use of multiple readers.
No; it was too long. However, I found it easy to pick up where I left off.
Been on/off with Audible since '07, when I found myself long-term in China, desperate for English language books. Love a good story.
I read this audiobook a couple years ago, but recently pegged it for my upcoming April book club reading, so I'll get to read it again, and this time discuss with friends. When I read this the first time, I was gushing about it to everyone. Highly recommend as a great read on women's health, 20th century medical history and innovation, changing medical rights and legal rights to our own bodies, and a saga of one African American family still struggling with a legacy that would confuse many. The author's own role in this story is also a great component, as she must navigate these complex, heavy waters.
I tend to avoid reading books that everyone tells me that I'll just LOVE. This was a book club read and I went into reading it expecting to either be grossed out by the medical aspect or to feel manipulated by the racial aspects of the story. Ms Skloot plotted a narrative path that presented both the characters and the facts in a way that made me think and care deeply about this issues raised by HELA cells and about the Lacks family. Her self-described passion to understand Henrietta's story shines through in a big way. Impressively written.
This book was well written, constantly interesting and also educational!
The end was memorable and sad.
Henrietta giving a public speech.
When Henrietta learned of her sisters history.
parts of this are amazing, but other parts i feel were pretty boring and long winded, and the emphasis on her family seems overblown.
Ironic injustice worldwide.
When Debras angry brother was taught and shown about his mother at the lab and him tearing up when he saw the colorful picture the doctor gave him.
It made me cry aloud many times when telling of the abuse of so many members of the family.
I really loved it & would highly recommend it. It opened my eyes to the way things used to be in society and are still in some parts of the country.
I am so glad I listened to this. Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin were marvelous at bringing this story to life. The Author's Note at the beginning of the story set the tone for the book (and many people who "read" the book skipped this)...the afterword tied up many loose ends. And finally, the interview with Rebecca Skloot at the very end anchored the book in reality, where it belongs.
I first read the print edition of this book when it was first released in paperback, but when I saw that Cassandra Campbell narrated the audible version I decided to purchase and listen (again).The story is fascinating, though troubling. I'm glad the Lacks family has finally been given some input into how her cell lines are used going forward after they came to an agreement with the NIH this past summer.The book is both a fascinating chronicle of scientific research but explores the issues of health care access and attitudes toward individual privacy, an issue of increasing import in today's world.I absolutely adore Campbell's narration and found listening to the book a second time around an equally satisfying experience.
I wouldn't really call this book a "story" as it's a much more complex narrative than such a term implies. It's both an exploration of a woman's difficult personal history and the intersection of that history with an ongoing evolution in genetic research. It's the juxtaposition of the two elements that makes it a particularly powerful work of non-fiction that's both heartbreaking and compelling.
For me, Campbell's narration is wonderful in terms of both range and nuance. Turpin was fine.
Henrietta's story made me sad....she had a tough life and died a very sad and painful death.
Thought it would be somewhat boring since it is a biography of sorts. However, it was, not only thoroughly entertaining, but highly thought provoking.
The debate of ownership and the rights to one's own parts.
Added a nice does of reality while not bringing any attention to a race issue.
Pure wonder at the contribution to science from Henrietta's cells.
I've read a lot of fiction. This real piece of history is far more amazing!