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Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

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What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life—and something goes terribly wrong? Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on the Earth. So when the all-natural, vegetarian, yoga-practising, marathon-running mother of three young boys was diagnosed with breast cancer, the world stopped ma What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life—and something goes terribly wrong? Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on the Earth. So when the all-natural, vegetarian, yoga-practising, marathon-running mother of three young boys was diagnosed with breast cancer, the world stopped making sense. In an increasingly perilous environment, the promise of order amid chaos is so tantalizing.Every busy woman will recognize herself in Gill’s striving—if we just get through our to-do list of achievements and improvements, we can get our lives under control …can’t we? The illusion of perfection is a powerful motivator, propelling so many of us on a breakneck pace toward somewhere other than where we are right now. But as only a brush with death can teach us, Gill learns the folly of believing we are in control. Readers will be inspired to appreciate the ragged imperfection of right now and learn to find glimpses of gratitude in every moment of any day.


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What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life—and something goes terribly wrong? Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on the Earth. So when the all-natural, vegetarian, yoga-practising, marathon-running mother of three young boys was diagnosed with breast cancer, the world stopped ma What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life—and something goes terribly wrong? Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on the Earth. So when the all-natural, vegetarian, yoga-practising, marathon-running mother of three young boys was diagnosed with breast cancer, the world stopped making sense. In an increasingly perilous environment, the promise of order amid chaos is so tantalizing.Every busy woman will recognize herself in Gill’s striving—if we just get through our to-do list of achievements and improvements, we can get our lives under control …can’t we? The illusion of perfection is a powerful motivator, propelling so many of us on a breakneck pace toward somewhere other than where we are right now. But as only a brush with death can teach us, Gill learns the folly of believing we are in control. Readers will be inspired to appreciate the ragged imperfection of right now and learn to find glimpses of gratitude in every moment of any day.

30 review for Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela Yazbek

    Gill Deacon’s stark honesty will bring you to your knees. She weaves words effortlessly -- from the beautifully poetic to the spiritually searing. Naked Imperfection is a book about cancer and not about cancer at all. If you are a woman living, loving and striving to make sense of the seemingly randomness of life, you will see yourself exposed in her words. There is no running from life when you read this memoir. It requires you to take a sharp and meaningful look at how you are living your days Gill Deacon’s stark honesty will bring you to your knees. She weaves words effortlessly -- from the beautifully poetic to the spiritually searing. Naked Imperfection is a book about cancer and not about cancer at all. If you are a woman living, loving and striving to make sense of the seemingly randomness of life, you will see yourself exposed in her words. There is no running from life when you read this memoir. It requires you to take a sharp and meaningful look at how you are living your days on this Earth. Gill Deacon stands naked before us, perfectly imperfect.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grazyna Krupa

    This is a wise and moving book. When Gill Deacon finds out she has breast cancer, her world is turned upside down. As she investigates the world of cures and balms, hospitals and therapists with a keen and witty investigator's eye, you can't help being amused and also enlightened. But when she turns the scalpel on herself, her blunt self-assessment reveals fascinating insights that continue to resonate long after the book is shelved. Terrific read. This is a wise and moving book. When Gill Deacon finds out she has breast cancer, her world is turned upside down. As she investigates the world of cures and balms, hospitals and therapists with a keen and witty investigator's eye, you can't help being amused and also enlightened. But when she turns the scalpel on herself, her blunt self-assessment reveals fascinating insights that continue to resonate long after the book is shelved. Terrific read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ann Douglas

    At first glance, this appears to be a beautifully written memoir of broadcaster, writer, and environmental activist Gill Deacon's struggle with breast cancer. But the book is so much more than that. It is a moving reminder of the beauty in everyday things, especially nature, and that we only find peace when we surrender control. As Deacon writes: "No matter how much exercise or energy healing I do how many soothing restorative walks I take through the woods, how many heads of raw kale I juice or At first glance, this appears to be a beautifully written memoir of broadcaster, writer, and environmental activist Gill Deacon's struggle with breast cancer. But the book is so much more than that. It is a moving reminder of the beauty in everyday things, especially nature, and that we only find peace when we surrender control. As Deacon writes: "No matter how much exercise or energy healing I do how many soothing restorative walks I take through the woods, how many heads of raw kale I juice or don't...there is no inoculation against illness. No guarantees, no way to wrestle life under control. There are merely best attempts. But surrendering the false hope that there is a single way to make everything Just So might just be the best strategy of all." Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ania Szado

    Gill Deacon takes a clear, honest, and fearless look at the quest for perfection that was her birthright, and the imperfections (both inevitable and, in the case of cancer, entirely unexpected) that are thrust upon her. While this striking and thoughtful memoir is anchored by Deacon's breast cancer experience, the insights it offers are relevant to anyone who grapples with how to live thoughtfully and ethically within a challenging and unpredictable world. It is moving and very personal, yet nev Gill Deacon takes a clear, honest, and fearless look at the quest for perfection that was her birthright, and the imperfections (both inevitable and, in the case of cancer, entirely unexpected) that are thrust upon her. While this striking and thoughtful memoir is anchored by Deacon's breast cancer experience, the insights it offers are relevant to anyone who grapples with how to live thoughtfully and ethically within a challenging and unpredictable world. It is moving and very personal, yet never cloying or sentimental — a winning combination.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Gill is a great story teller; self-deprecating, funny, and irreverent. She takes us along on her journey through breast cancer with an honest account of her experiences and emotions and she doesn’t shy away from the hard parts. The book has beautiful images and clever metaphors which make it a pleasure to read. In the end, there are probably more questions than answers in the book but these are universal questions that we can all relate to. I highly recommend it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    You think you may know Gill Deacon, the "queen of green" but when she is diagnosed with breast cancer she contemplates what the illusion of control has really cost her, and her health. Gill's story is relevant to all women who are trying to balance career, family and their health. What does it mean to be a daughter, sister, mother, wife in the modern day? And she does so, with her characteristic sense of humour. You think you may know Gill Deacon, the "queen of green" but when she is diagnosed with breast cancer she contemplates what the illusion of control has really cost her, and her health. Gill's story is relevant to all women who are trying to balance career, family and their health. What does it mean to be a daughter, sister, mother, wife in the modern day? And she does so, with her characteristic sense of humour.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book is a lovely introspective look at the randomness of life and the struggle for control and meaning. Gill uses her wit and smart, insightful observations on the world we live in to bring her personal journey to life. The story is open and honest, leaving us with much to think about.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Marie Buchanan

    Beautifully written and poignantly told, Naked Imperfection is packed with insight, humour and wisdom. It made me laugh and weep and think.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Let me start by saying, I am definitely glad that [spoiler] Gill is now okay, and cancer-free (I believe... I started skimming the book because I got so annoyed with her, but I at least gathered that much). For sufferers of cancer, survivors, or those with loved ones who are going through it, perhaps they'll enjoy this more than I did. Not that I don't know anyone who has had cancer. But the majority of reviews of this book are really positive, and I can't understand. Deacon is SO arrogant in her Let me start by saying, I am definitely glad that [spoiler] Gill is now okay, and cancer-free (I believe... I started skimming the book because I got so annoyed with her, but I at least gathered that much). For sufferers of cancer, survivors, or those with loved ones who are going through it, perhaps they'll enjoy this more than I did. Not that I don't know anyone who has had cancer. But the majority of reviews of this book are really positive, and I can't understand. Deacon is SO arrogant in her belief that, due to her super-clean living, she doesn't deserve to have cancer. That would be fine and well if research had proved 100%, without a doubt, that her exact method of living would help prevent cancer. But being that science has never proven all of the causes of cancer (and probably never will), it's really hard to take. There's a scene in the book where she's in a waiting room, and is doing "waiting room math," and talks about the crummy, old magazines on the table, the bald 50-something women knitting, the men with canes, etc. And then she asks, "why am I here?" This is a running question and theme of the book, like she believes she is SO far above these other cancer-sufferers, and simply cannot fathom how she ever got cancer. Please, lady. ANYONE can get cancer, no matter how much clean living you do. Cancer strikes many, many people. I was honestly disgusted by how much she went on and on about this question, and talked about how clean she lived. I kept expecting her reality to shift, and for her to say, "despite my clean living, I still got cancer, and I have to accept that." But no, she just continued to go on about how she was an A+ cancer patient (eating healthy, in an attempt to ward off the cancer holistically), and yet, SHE STILL HAS IT, why God why? Well, both God and cancer don't discriminate based on the fact that you only eat organic food. She also seems supremely judgey of people who don't live super healthy, so my guess is, she wouldn't care at all about this negative review, because I am clearly a space invader, who eats all the garbage she preaches against, and used the lead-infused products she rails against. I don't think this would be a helpful book for people going through cancer, because it's very one-sided and to me, it would make me feel bad, that I wasn't doing all the insane things she was doing (like spending hours a day eating organic fruits and veggies).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Penny McGill

    I went back and forth on this book. I wanted to read it because I enjoy Gil Deacon as my host (and almost feels like my friend) on my regular afternoon CBC radio program but part of me didn't want to read it due to the subject matter. I knew that it would have some very bleak moments and just wasn't sure that this was the right month to feel extra bleak. I was so pleased that Deacon's 'voice' comes across in the bleak and hopeful moments in the book and felt that it was worth the ache to go thro I went back and forth on this book. I wanted to read it because I enjoy Gil Deacon as my host (and almost feels like my friend) on my regular afternoon CBC radio program but part of me didn't want to read it due to the subject matter. I knew that it would have some very bleak moments and just wasn't sure that this was the right month to feel extra bleak. I was so pleased that Deacon's 'voice' comes across in the bleak and hopeful moments in the book and felt that it was worth the ache to go through this journey with her. It seemed a little hollow not to - reading someone's cancer memoir is to painful for me? Well, yes. I read for enjoyment and will cheerfully cast aside a book that disappoints me or feels to raw. I have too much optimism for the next fantastic read to waste time with a book that doesn't hit the spot. So. It's a cancer memoir in the very raw. Her ability to weave words on the page is equal to what she shares with us on the radio each day. That perfect blend of kindness and intelligence is there in this book and they balance off the moments that are particularly hard - when she describes seeing her scar for the first time - and lend more credibility and weight to when she wonders about the big questions of dealing with this disease. She doesn't seem to hold anything back and lets the reader in on all of the moments; her fear and worry for her children, hopes that some of her journeys into alternative therapy 'might' yield something good, and even her frustration at a phone call from her mother. It's hard to see this normal picture of a young woman struggling with something so terrible but I am so glad that she chose to share it. It's definitely not for everyone. It's a memoir of a contemporary writer and environmentalist in Toronto so there are many hooks for library patrons. I'd pass it along to the right person and have been talking about it a lot with friends. I know that it is going to be the perfect book for more than one person and I'd suggest it as a book club book because I think it would ring true (due to the delightful writing) and be of interest to many. There is lots to talk about in this book - much to enjoy and much to think about.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Farrah Johnson

    I got this book when I attended Read for the Cure, an event at which author Gillian Deacon was speaking. To be honest, I had never heard of her, but based on her strong speech/talk, I was eager to read her novel. I really enjoyed the writing style and the approach Deacon took in relaying her experience fighting cancer. As this is a non-fiction read, there is only a few things I can comment on. I think she did a great job sharing her story, which included Western treatments, a dietary overhaul (d I got this book when I attended Read for the Cure, an event at which author Gillian Deacon was speaking. To be honest, I had never heard of her, but based on her strong speech/talk, I was eager to read her novel. I really enjoyed the writing style and the approach Deacon took in relaying her experience fighting cancer. As this is a non-fiction read, there is only a few things I can comment on. I think she did a great job sharing her story, which included Western treatments, a dietary overhaul (despite already being an organic-eating vegetarian) and a visit to a medicine man. The most interesting thing about this slice of life memoir is how much Deacon's priorities changed and whether she would continue to be the eco-conscious icon she is to those who know her/ know of her or if she will, for lack of a better term, focus less on the small stuff like forgetting to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. Her changed priorities are interesting, as is her comments on society's pressure on women to "have it all" and the rushed way we all live our modern lives. As she wrote in her novel, having cancer is one if those experiences that, like parenting, unless you've been through it, you have no idea. I don't feel like this book is meant to give the reader a relatable glimpse into what it's like to have cancer; however, I do feel that she does a solid job of letting the reader know what it was like for her to have cancer. I liked this novel but have no idea under what circumstances I would recommend it to someone else to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book through CBC Radio and Goodreads. I know Gill Deacon as a radio host and feel as though she would be in my circle of friends if we were ever to know one another personally. This is my first experience reading one of her books, although I listen to her broadcasts pretty much daily. This book is one that I can relate to on a very intimate level even though I have not experienced a fight with cancer such as she has. Every thought she expresses about her I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book through CBC Radio and Goodreads. I know Gill Deacon as a radio host and feel as though she would be in my circle of friends if we were ever to know one another personally. This is my first experience reading one of her books, although I listen to her broadcasts pretty much daily. This book is one that I can relate to on a very intimate level even though I have not experienced a fight with cancer such as she has. Every thought she expresses about her daily life before during and since the incident is so much like how I think I would react given such a challenge. Overall it is a comforting read but sometimes brought tears to my eyes when reading of her day to day thoughts. It wasn't the big things that touched me it was the tiny observations she shares that show such great insight. That is what makes the book so special. I am passing this book on to a close friend who has had a similar challenge with cancer. I'm interested to see what she thinks of the book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maureen :)

    i won a copy of this book on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I really enjoyed it. I did not realize it was written by Gillian Deacon of CBC Radio until it arrived. The memoir of her breast cancer journey was very insightful and I loved her observations and the balance between " why me" and " glad to be alive" thoughts that are involved for those dealing with treatment or face other medical challenges.... It was a pleasure to read and I know I will reread it if someone close to me is e i won a copy of this book on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I really enjoyed it. I did not realize it was written by Gillian Deacon of CBC Radio until it arrived. The memoir of her breast cancer journey was very insightful and I loved her observations and the balance between " why me" and " glad to be alive" thoughts that are involved for those dealing with treatment or face other medical challenges.... It was a pleasure to read and I know I will reread it if someone close to me is ever facing a similar illness. *** I am not sure why some reviewers felt the author was "preachy" etc. I thought she was clearly explaining how humbling her diagnosis was and how fruitless all of her "living right" behaviours could seem at times. I found it the exact opposite.. she explained very well that her lifestyle that should have offered some protection from cancer had failed her. There is no concrete explanation and that is one of the stresses of the disease.. why me ? what did i do wrong ? what didnt I do ?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    3.5 stars I enjoyed this book about Gillian Deacon's struggle with breast cancer. While the material is very sobering, I was impressed at how she handled her diagnosis and the subsequent changes to her life. I could understand her confusion/frustration with her diagnosis as she seemed to have the healthiest lifestyle around and she seemed like the least likely person to get cancer. I found that the book could get a bit choppy in places, and felt a bit 'preachy' in others, but I still liked readin 3.5 stars I enjoyed this book about Gillian Deacon's struggle with breast cancer. While the material is very sobering, I was impressed at how she handled her diagnosis and the subsequent changes to her life. I could understand her confusion/frustration with her diagnosis as she seemed to have the healthiest lifestyle around and she seemed like the least likely person to get cancer. I found that the book could get a bit choppy in places, and felt a bit 'preachy' in others, but I still liked reading about her journey. Overall, I appreciated the author's candor and humor about her personal experience with cancer. This book was a bit of an eye-opener, and it was interesting to read about what happened to her. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thank you!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dv

    I really enjoyed this book, partly because Gill is a friend (and our kids are friends), partly because she grew up in the same era as me (so many of her cultural references were familiar), and mostly because cancer has touched my life many times. When I saw Gill after I read the book I gave her a hug, to congratulate her on writing such a giving book. That was the word that kept coming in to my mind when I tried to summarize my thoughts: giving. She gave of her family, herself, her experience, h I really enjoyed this book, partly because Gill is a friend (and our kids are friends), partly because she grew up in the same era as me (so many of her cultural references were familiar), and mostly because cancer has touched my life many times. When I saw Gill after I read the book I gave her a hug, to congratulate her on writing such a giving book. That was the word that kept coming in to my mind when I tried to summarize my thoughts: giving. She gave of her family, herself, her experience, her childhood, her hopes, fears and dreams. Her tale was sad and frightening, and the outcome uplifting in so many ways (Jake and Sara!). One of the messages that resonated the most with me was about slowing down and not trying to save the world every single day of our lives. I hope that I can keep that message top of mind, and that I don't forget it in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Frenette

    If you are already a fan of Gillian and already know that how she is, read this book... maybe you won't think she is arrogant? I say this because she thinks that she is perfect and does not deserve to have cancer. And this would be ok if she didn't believe that everybody BUT her deserves it. I kept reading... waiting for her to come back down to earth and realize that the life she chose does not make her better than anyone else... but no. That didn't happen. I won this from a GoodReads giveaway th If you are already a fan of Gillian and already know that how she is, read this book... maybe you won't think she is arrogant? I say this because she thinks that she is perfect and does not deserve to have cancer. And this would be ok if she didn't believe that everybody BUT her deserves it. I kept reading... waiting for her to come back down to earth and realize that the life she chose does not make her better than anyone else... but no. That didn't happen. I won this from a GoodReads giveaway that I entered based on the description, not because I am a fan... I had never heard of her before actually. So, I guess the reason I didn't enjoy this book is because I am one of those people that eats food that I like, drives in a car, paints my nails, etc...

  17. 4 out of 5

    A

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book. It was like going on a journey with a friend & unfortunately it had to end but the ending was pleasant with a touch of "what's gonna happen next". How odd that we listen to Gil on the radio but never really associate that voice to a human, with a life outside of radio. Her words were comforting & easy to get thru but the subject can never be. I appreciate this book for what it is & for the reminder that life truly is what we make of it. Than Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book. It was like going on a journey with a friend & unfortunately it had to end but the ending was pleasant with a touch of "what's gonna happen next". How odd that we listen to Gil on the radio but never really associate that voice to a human, with a life outside of radio. Her words were comforting & easy to get thru but the subject can never be. I appreciate this book for what it is & for the reminder that life truly is what we make of it. Thank you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Gill Deacon is our CBC Toronto late afternoon radio host and I have heard her refer to her books a few times but more recently was interested in an interview she did about this her latest book. It is a really deeply personal memoir not just about her journey through breast cancer but also paralleled with her brother's journey through infertility issues and loss. There are good endings all around as well as lots of wisdom gained and a perspective on living in the now that comes from hard earned e Gill Deacon is our CBC Toronto late afternoon radio host and I have heard her refer to her books a few times but more recently was interested in an interview she did about this her latest book. It is a really deeply personal memoir not just about her journey through breast cancer but also paralleled with her brother's journey through infertility issues and loss. There are good endings all around as well as lots of wisdom gained and a perspective on living in the now that comes from hard earned experience. I feel like I know Gill's family really well as a result of this read. And I learned a few more things about the breast cancer journey as well. Thanks Gill for sharing so much and so well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    I received this book from Pinguin Canada in exchange for an honest review. The mémoire was well documented in a series of small stories. Gillian Devon, a Toronto author and radio personality, did not try to embellish her encounter with cancer. She shares her struggles and pains in an open conversation with her readers. She remains honest through the descriptions of all she tried to win her battle with cancer; even when the methods were quite unusual. Naked Imperfection is a beautiful book about I received this book from Pinguin Canada in exchange for an honest review. The mémoire was well documented in a series of small stories. Gillian Devon, a Toronto author and radio personality, did not try to embellish her encounter with cancer. She shares her struggles and pains in an open conversation with her readers. She remains honest through the descriptions of all she tried to win her battle with cancer; even when the methods were quite unusual. Naked Imperfection is a beautiful book about the struggles, the pain and also the victories of an extraordinary woman. I admire her resilience and courage.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Something compelled me to read Gillian's journey with cancer. Was it her interview on CBC Radio? Her insights were refreshing and honest. A woman who had perfect control of her life, but did she? A quote from the book summed it up for me: "...cancer is a gift, but it comes wrapped in barbed wire. You have to go through a lot of pain and excrutiating effort to unwrap it before it can reveal its value. But once it has been opened, it is unparalleled treasure." beautifully written...thanks Gillian Something compelled me to read Gillian's journey with cancer. Was it her interview on CBC Radio? Her insights were refreshing and honest. A woman who had perfect control of her life, but did she? A quote from the book summed it up for me: "...cancer is a gift, but it comes wrapped in barbed wire. You have to go through a lot of pain and excrutiating effort to unwrap it before it can reveal its value. But once it has been opened, it is unparalleled treasure." beautifully written...thanks Gillian for sharing your life-altering journey.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I enjoyed reading about Gill's journey with breast cancer, as each journey is deeply personal. I am glad that her diagnosis and treatment taught her that life is random and that all the planning and "clean living" we do cannot protect us from cancer. I would not recommend this book to someone as she goes through breast cancer treatment, but it is a good read after-the-fact about lessons learned and how having cancer can change your priorities. I enjoyed reading about Gill's journey with breast cancer, as each journey is deeply personal. I am glad that her diagnosis and treatment taught her that life is random and that all the planning and "clean living" we do cannot protect us from cancer. I would not recommend this book to someone as she goes through breast cancer treatment, but it is a good read after-the-fact about lessons learned and how having cancer can change your priorities.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ron S

    Broadcaster, author and environmentalist Deacon writes about being diagnosed with breast cancer despite a lifetime of healthy living. This is why do bad things happen to good people for the eco-set and women struggling to live up to impossible self-imposed standards. A couple of the chapters stand out as being laugh out loud funny.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melana

    This is a wonderfully written - honest account of life before cancer and after. Gill writes with wit, humour and incredible insight. It had me in tears one minute and laughing the next. This is a beautiful memoir that will have you looking at life a little differently – it will stay with you long after reading the last page.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Noga

    Flew through this book-I loved it. It talks about the epidemic I call control delusion. The delusion that you are in control. In this case, the extremely healthy author developed breast cancer. Many wise statements about our modern society. Didn't like some of the weird spirituality like "I sense your left breast has much wisdom". Huh? Flew through this book-I loved it. It talks about the epidemic I call control delusion. The delusion that you are in control. In this case, the extremely healthy author developed breast cancer. Many wise statements about our modern society. Didn't like some of the weird spirituality like "I sense your left breast has much wisdom". Huh?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    So enjoyed this book that made it clear that when facing fear and death, the things in one's life that don't really matter fall away. It's a terrible gift which Gillian Deacon has written about in a brave and honest way. So enjoyed this book that made it clear that when facing fear and death, the things in one's life that don't really matter fall away. It's a terrible gift which Gillian Deacon has written about in a brave and honest way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Terrific read - there are moments that made me laugh out loud. I wasn't expecting that. Loved the earth hour story - thank you Gill Deacon for a great book. Terrific read - there are moments that made me laugh out loud. I wasn't expecting that. Loved the earth hour story - thank you Gill Deacon for a great book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill Donald

    There are many tender moments and life lessons gently woven throughout this beautifully written memoir. This is an honest and uplifting read that has made me reflect on my own life in more detail.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Kingston

    A beautifully written, honest and original take on what it's like to go through breast cancer. It's a book that will speak to anyone who has lived their life striving for perfection. A beautifully written, honest and original take on what it's like to go through breast cancer. It's a book that will speak to anyone who has lived their life striving for perfection.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shara Greensides

    I wanted to like this. I try to support Canadian authors. Knowing several people who have had cancer, and some who have lost their battle, I was hoping to get an understanding of their perspective. While she writes very well, and her style is engaging, I got 2/3 of the way through it and couldn't do it anymore. I understand that she is looking for answers to why she got cancer when she did "everything right," but she comes off as very judgmental and holier than thou. The scene where she sits in I wanted to like this. I try to support Canadian authors. Knowing several people who have had cancer, and some who have lost their battle, I was hoping to get an understanding of their perspective. While she writes very well, and her style is engaging, I got 2/3 of the way through it and couldn't do it anymore. I understand that she is looking for answers to why she got cancer when she did "everything right," but she comes off as very judgmental and holier than thou. The scene where she sits in the waiting room, surveying the other people waiting for their cancer treatment was where I drew the line. She basically insinuates that everyone else there deserves cancer because they are old or obese, while she doesn't. Maybe she changes her tune in the end, but I'm not forcing myself to stick around to find out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pat Mills

    A serious biography about serious things - Life and Death even. Yet it reads as a wise woman story with rye humour and reverence for our own fallible nature. This is a woman who has put in her time in the environmental trenches. A woman who lived with the uncertainty of cancer and was willing to share this with us, her readers. This book has power and comfort and stark reality between its covers. It is an excellent book to share with others and I highly recommend it.

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