Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Book Review: Notes Left Behind

I think I mentioned a week or so ago that Amazon invited me to be one of their Vine reviewers. The perk of being a member of the Vine is I get to read advanced copies of books in exchange for me writing a review of the product on their website. Words come easily to me and I like to write product reviews so this is an opportunity I was more than willing to jump on.

I just finished writing a review of Notes Left Behind by Brooke and Keith Desserich. Ever since I read Jenny Scott's blog about her daughter Allie five years ago, I've had a hard time turning away from blogs and stories about the children and families who's lives are devastated by childhood cancer. Notes Left Behind is based on the journal/blog that the Desserich family kept to chronicle their daughter Elena's battle with an inoperable brain stem tumor. I selected this book because I remember reading an article about it a while back on AOL. Here's a story ABC ran back in December.

Here's the review I submitted to Amazon:
I cracked open this book yesterday afternoon when it arrived. I flipped through the pages and landed on one of the final journal entries. Within seconds I was crying and I instantly wanted to drop what I was doing and read the entire book. I had been in the middle of another project at the time, so I had to put off reading this book for several more hours. When I did get the opportunity to curl up with this book later that day, I couldn't put it down. It's one of those stories that grabs at your heartstrings and doesn't let go.

This book is incredibly touching and well written. It is an inspiring and heart-wrenching story. Keith and Brooke Desserich write from the heart about their love for their beautiful daughter Elena and how much they have learned about life from her. The journal was started by them for their younger daughter Gracie after Elena was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was given a prognosis of 135 days, so that Gracie could have a remembrance of her big sister. The journal chronicles Elena's radiation and chemotherapy treatments, but it aslo chronicles the journey of Elena and her parents over Elena's last days of her short but beautiful life.

Elena's story is one that will make you want to hug your kids a little tighter at night and read just one more bedtime story. It is a wake-up call, if you will to cherish each and every moment you have with your children. This story is also a call to action to find a cure for cancer.

I don't think I can recommend this beautiful story highly enough.

As a member of the Amazon Vine, I was supplied with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, let me say thank you for your review of Notes Left Behind. It was hard to write, but even harder to share. Too often I have my regrets about the release of the journal to Harper Collins, but then comes along an innocent e-mail or a review such as yours that tells me that there is a higher purpose to sharing what we previously intended only for my Gracie.

    Would you please contact me at regarding another question?

    Thank you,

    Keith Desserich


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