Monday, October 29, 2012


I breezed through the first half of this book while sitting in a waiting room full of cancer patients. My husband had some skin cancer removed that day. And frankly, I found SAVING EACH OTHER to be quite self-indulgent and elitist.

Bad things happen to good people all of the time - it's part of life. So why should one person or one family expect differently or expect a free pass to the front of the line when everyone else has to walk through the mud of life? It always amazes me when someone asks the question, "Why did this have to happen to me?" Well -- why not? Should bad things only happen to your neighbor? Your cousins? The poor? Why shouldn't you have to go through hardships? It's part of life.

How you handle those hardships is what makes you special.

And ... that's why I ended up giving this book four stars instead of one.

Because even though I got frustrated several times with the narrative of this book, in the end I was impressed with the personal growth of Ali Guthy and I was impressed with the accomplishments of Victoria Jackson. They both took action that will not only benefit themselves, but it will also benefit the medical community and patients worldwide for generations to come.

So while I disagree with Jackson's statement on page 225: "I looked around at the other moms ... and realized that probably no other mother was thinking of her daughter ... the same way I was ..." I cried on page 162 when Ali wrote: "That night definitely sucked for me. But I think being in Mom's shoes would suck even worse. Wouldn't trade with her if you paid me. And she would pay anyone if she could trade with me."

Being a mom is a tough never ending job, but if you do it well, it's the most rewarding experience in the world.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the memoir genre. I enjoyed the different points of view of mother and daughter, but I found the italic font annoying to read. I wish the publisher had chosen a different non-italicized font instead.

I'd also recommend this book to any family struggling with the diagnosis of a medical condition. However, as a lower-income family, this is a frustrating book to read because the Jackson-Guthy family can afford to move to the front of the line, have doctors on call 24-hours a day, and receive the best of the best care. Lower-income families have to deal with waiting days/months for an appointment with a doctor who's willing to accept their minimal monthly payments for basic care. However, there are ideas and tips within the pages of this book that can help inspire and motivate you to keep fighting for the best care for yourself and your family.

I'll be donating this book to our high school library.
Here's a clip of SAVING EACH OTHER's authors Victoria Jackson and Ali Guthy on The Ellen Degeneres Show: 
What are you reading right now?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Margo,
    I understand your frustrations with this book. I've often been annoyed reading something about someone who has a better chance at getting what's needed and the tone coming across a bit elitist. Not to mention, you have to wonder if they were a lower income family, would the book have ever been published or accepted in the first place?

    However, I appreciate anyone who is willing to fight through something, come out on the other side with a new perspective and a willingness to help others. While I'm not a fan of memoir, this does sound like a wonderful book for anyone going through a tough health challenge.

    Great review! Hope all is well,