This book brought tears and gratefulness to tragic story for a family but progress to a nation medically. However, I can't help but wonder would this had happened if Henrietta was a white women? Why was it alright and why did it take so long for her to acknowledged?
Deborah, she was a little girl who lost her mother and a grown woman who struggled because of that loss.
This book was a wildcard for me; I'm not interested in science or scientific development or African American biographies or histories. I purchase audio books for riveting entertainment during tedious weight loss walks - I want distraction and immersion, I care nothing for 'high brow' or 'well rounded' audible libraries. Well, what a stunning change this book was. Life really is stranger than fiction and I'm still stunned that the cells of a single diseased women have been used, without permission all over the world, billions of times. That sounds so dry, and I really can't do this story justice except to tell you that although the cover looks boring, this book is stunning. I listened in disbelief as the story unfolded and at times wept for the simple naivety of this woman and the struggle of her family in continuing generations. This is a story that MUST be heard by everyone, it IS historical but is also of our present time. I think it should be mandatory reading for all college students, I know I've over used the word, but I'm stunned. On so many levels, I'm just sitting here STUNNED.
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. That audio book is similar in that it is presented by a narrator who is also the 'investigator'. Again, The Orchid Thief was a wild card book for me and I was quickly drawn in and fascinated by a wealth of knowledge I would have never sought out or even considered interesting. In that regard, both these books have a strong bond of dropping extraordinary facts in the telling of a engaging story. You feel as if you are at the centre of eavesdropping a series of events. I actually purchased an orchid after this audio book and have become a keen fanciest, so be warned that it might have such an effect on you. In regards to the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I have a new found understanding of the prevalent and blatant human disregard in the field of medical science that I had never considered was a part of our modern day practices before outside the realm of unethical Nazi medical testing stories.
A very informative and thought provoking book. Hats off to the author for her consideration of everyone involved and her sensitivity of the issues surrounding human tissue ownership and research. Thank you for writing a biologically informative book from a humanitarian perspective, and in a format that the general public can understand and appreciate.
The narrators performance here was real and enormously engaging - But, most important is the incredible content of this story. Told from a well-balanced position of support for advances in medical research, while maintaining a focus on the human element and far-reaching impact of the ethical questions raised by Henrietta's story.
Skloot has done an amazing thing with this book! Enough science to create understanding of the issues at hand, with emotional insights that deepen the listeners connection to the real people behind HeLa. Also, an eye-opening glimpse into the reality of the educational divide between doctor or scientist and patient or subject, and the legal & ethical questions surrounding informed consent.
All in all, a great non-fiction work that kept me listening with any spare moment I could find!
My second time through the book and it has the same strong effect on my mind and heart. The plight of the human race as brought about at its own hands never ceases to amaze me. Everyone has a stake in the outcome of lives we touch - directly or indirectly. This helps us to see how personal and widespread that is. A special read that will put new perspective on a wide range of moral, ethical and social concerns while reorienting how we place credit for scientific progress and the need to continue searching out the solution for equity therein.
Skloot does a wonderful job of combining the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Henrietta and her family with the complicated and fascinating history of cell culture science.
I love to read Biographies of Women, Business Leaders and Experts in their field. I love Historical Fiction with well developed characters.
The narration was compelling. The author did such a good job of mixing just the right amount of science with the human emotions of Henrietta's family
Learning the truth about Elsie broke my heart
The emotion came through as well as the wonder of Deborah and Rebecca's journey
Medical Mystery, Family Drama
I'm not a person who has ever been interested in science. Something about this story made me want to know more about Cells, Cancer and how our bodies work.