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Publisher's Summary

Boston Globe's 25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018

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In the tradition of Brain on Fire and Darkness Visible, an honest, beautifully rendered memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery that details author Porochista Khakpour's struggles with late-stage Lyme disease.

For as long as writer Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn't know why. All of her trips to the ER and her daily anguish, pain, and lethargy only ever resulted in one question: How could any one person be this sick? Several drug addictions, three major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease.

Sick is Khakpour's arduous, emotional journey - as a woman, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems - through the chronic illness that perpetually left her a victim of anxiety, living a life stymied by an unknown condition.

Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course - New York, LA, New Mexico, and Germany - as she meditates on both the physical and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life. With candor and grace, she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness, her addiction to the benzodiazepines prescribed by her psychiatrists, and her ever-deteriorating physical health.

A story about survival, pain, and transformation, Sick is a candid, illuminating narrative of hope and uncertainty, boldly examining the deep impact of illness on one woman's life.

©2018 Porochista Khakpour (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very disappointing

I was very excited for this memoir and I am disappointed by how surface level it all seems. it is half recounting of a glamorous, drug fuelled writer life and a list of ailments. I empathize very much with the author, but there seems to be more genuine self-reflection done in the first 30 pages than in the whole rest of the book. There are some gems here, but the reflection and sentence-level writing craft is lacking. There are many better, more thoughtful illness narratives than this.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I could not finish this

I have read a lot of memoirs and books about Lyme Disease, but I simply could not get through this one. It just didn't hold my interest. I listened to the first few hours and then just couldn't devote any more time to it.