Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood: Pledging the Pink Sorority

Joanna Chapman. Cosmic Casserole (www.cosmiccasserole.com), $14.95 (365p) ISBN 978-0-9890431-0-6
When Joanna Chapman was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer after a routine mammogram, she favored the most radical treatment options available: a double mastectomy followed a hysterectomy, four chemotherapy treatments, and a few dozen doctor visits. Over about a year, Chapman recovers with support from her Pink Sisters (fellow breast cancer survivors) and other friends. At a party, she quips, "I'm not at death's door. But will you bring me lasagna anyway?" While readers will appreciate the author's vibrant sense of humor toward the solemn subject, at times the jokes detract from the effectiveness of the book. There is little serious attention focused on emotionally-charged issues deserving a closer look, such as early menopause and her mother's concurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Instead the pages are filled with frequent visits to stereotypical Cancerland characters such as "Rock Star Surgeon," "Snippy Nurse," "Reluctant Radiologist," "Dr. L'Artiste" (breast reconstruction surgeon), and "Caring Nurse." Chapman eventually gets in touch with God and begins to think differently about her marriage. The book offers advice and witty asides as Chapman tells her story, but can feel drawn-out at over 350 pages. Even though the book lacks emotional depth, it's entertaining and uplifting tone may be of value to those in similar situations looking for some relatable levity. (June)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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