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Amy Byer Shainman
Resurrection Lily: The BRCA Gene, Hereditary Cancer & Lifesaving Whispers from the Grandmother I Never Knew

Adult; Spirituality/Inspirational; (Market)

Resurrection Lily shares a story of inheritance and intuition, of what can surface in the body and the spirit when linked by DNA. As Amy Byer Shainman discovers she has inherited a BRCA gene mutation that puts her at high risk of developing certain cancers, she struggles to come to terms with preventively removing her breasts when she does not have a breast cancer diagnosis. Through her experience making decisions about her health, Amy becomes invigorated with purpose and establishes herself as a leading advocate for those with BRCA and other hereditary cancer syndromes, tirelessly working to educate others facing the same daunting reality. Painting a timely and moving portrait of what it feels like to carry a BRCA gene mutation, Resurrection Lily provides firsthand insight into the patient experience. Weaved throughout Amy's open and vulnerable story is the expertise of her doctors, education from top medical experts in cancer genetics, and whispered lifesaving guidance from her grandmother Lillian.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10


Plot: Shainman successfully details her family history and her journey as an advocate for BRCA mutation education/awareness. Her story unfolds logically and at a steady pace and easily holds the reader's interest.

Prose: The author is a capable writer and able to tell her tale, which is medically-focused, in an accessible way. Readers will feel like passengers in the car along for the journey. Others may be mid-process themselves, or have been in a similar situation before, and the perspective here will feel enlightening.

Originality: This is the author's personal story and, as a result, it is unique and highly original even though her situation is one that many women would be able to relate to.

Character/Execution: There are two main focuses here—BRCA and the author herself. Both are well-defined, and the changes the author undergoes throughout the novel are meticulously shown.

Date Submitted: November 14, 2022