Idea/Concept: Shainman writes an illuminating, if at times disjointed, memoir about learning that she carries the BRCA gene mutation, which makes her susceptible to cancer. Shainman's path toward addressing her cancer predisposition begins through research into her family history--and at the nagging of the author's own intuition.
Prose: Shainman writes eloquently about her relationship with her body and her anxiety relating to a possible disease diagnosis, while also informing readers about the gene that begins to dictate her life. The melding of more introspective passages with a straightforward account of disease progression and medical procedures, is not always tonally harmonious, but certainly unique and intriguing.
Originality: The focus of Shainman's memoir--her awareness of the suffering of women close to her as a result of their diagnoses, and her own susceptibility--is highly original. The author's decision to obtain a mastectomy without a cancer diagnosis but as a preemptive action, is a bold and personal one that is infrequently discussed.
Execution: Readers facing breast cancer or who have newly learned that they carry the BRCA gene mutation, will be inspired and moved by this account.
Date Submitted: January 17, 2020
"Resurrection Lily is as helpful a book as you will find on the topic of BRCA mutations. Amy Byer Shainman has deftly intertwined crucial scientific information with moving stories of how she, her family and her friends have navigated this complex genetic issue. - Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD Author of The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America
"5*s from me for this informative and interesting book, where the author opens up about her experiences." - EmmabBooks
"Amy Byer Shainman achieves a powerful thing in Resurrection Lily - she brings highly curated clinical information and personal experience together. By sharing her own 'previvor' voice, the voices of family and friends with cancer and hereditary risks, and the expert voices of the clinical care team that supports individuals at high risk for cancer, she has created a fantastic resource for those who want to understand the experience of genetic counseling and genetic testing, whether they are seeking information for prevention, treatment or for the benefit of their family."- Erica Ramos, MS, LCGC, Past President - National Society of Genetic Counselors
"Powerful and intelligent...Resurrection Lily is an applause worthy memoir that will affect its audience in deep and unexpected ways."- Feathered Quill Book Reviews
"More than a memoir, it is an essential resource for women concerned about breast cancer and all that it entails, both before and after a diagnosis. Sources and resources listed at the end of the book provide vital help to those seeking further information." - Foreword Clarion Reviews
"Resurrection Lily lifts the curtain on the alternately gut-wrenching/uplifting medical and spiritual journey of author Amy Byer Shainman, who faces tough decisions upon learning she has inherited every woman's nightmare: the BRCA gene mutation that predisposes her to breast and other cancers. From Shainman's first inkling she might have a genetic issue, to the testing and confirmation, to the grief experienced as friends and family face their own BRCA struggles, this is not just the story of how a woman addresses a rogue disease, but of family connections, self-realization and remarkable courage." - IndieReader
"With raw honesty, Shainman articulates coming to terms with her decision to have a prophylactic "preventative" mastectomy. Whether she is reflecting on the value of heeding intuition, documenting a surgical consultation, or dealing with anger, Shainman transparently tells it like it is. I recommend the book to readers who want to learn more about hereditary cancer, genetic counseling, and the BRCA gene." - OnlineBookClub.org
"It is a book to learn from but also an account to enjoy on a personal level. Beautifully written and interestingly presented through a central structural metaphor, it is a biography dealing with an increasingly important topic, and one that will appeal to a very wide audience." - Readers' Favorite
‘Resurrection Lily: The BRCA Gene, Hereditary Cancer & Lifesaving Whispers from the Grandmother I Never Knew,’ presents Shainman's deeply personal story of taking the necessary steps to prevent cancer along with providing crucial scientific facts and medical experts weighing in to help educate readers.
Ten years later, a woman with a BRCA1 mutation finally feels more like herself.
BY KATIE KOSKO
When Amy Byer Shainman’s sister Jan received a uterine and ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2008, Jan was not advised to undergo genetic testing. However, after attending an ovarian cancer conference, she felt compelled to request genetic testing and subsequently learned she carried a BRCA1 gene mutation.