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Reconstructing Natalie - eBook
Thomas Nelson / 2008 / ePub
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Think YOU'RE self-conscious about your lack of cleavage? Natalie Moore is about to lose what little cleavage she has. And that's just the beginning. She'll shave her head, leave her church, fall for a man in scrubs, learn to tap, and flash a roomful of women. Reconstructing Natalie is the story of a woman whose breast cancer is the catalyst for some serious changes not the least of which is her cup size! Holding tight to her old friends while reaching out to new ones, Natalie must redefine herself and her faith on new terms.
Natalie Moore is about to lose what little cleavage she had.
She'll shave her head, leave her church, fall for a man in scrubs, learn to tap, and flash a roomful of women.
Natalie needs to know with or without her breasts she is more than the sum of her parts.
How does a 27-year-old deal with breast cancer? Author and cancer survivor Walker offers the appropriate information and reactions through this faith-based novel of Natalie Moore, a thoughtful and talented young California woman whose friends and family help provide the means for her "reconstruction." Natalie seems a bit too glib (Walker goes for humor here) considering her age and situation, but young women might find her plight inspirational. She goes church-hopping, but she never loses faith. For Christian fiction as well as comprehensive patient health collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Serious chick-lit? It can work, as seen in this faith-filled novel that revolves around breast cancer. Single gal Natalie Moore is just 27 when she is diagnosed with the disease. Walker's humor leavens the panic and the illness's accompanying indignities, such as a painful mammogram ("Now I knew how it felt to be a hamburger patty on a George Foreman grill"). Cancer's emotional and spiritual ramifications also drive the plot line-getting dropped like a hot potato by a boyfriend, dating woes, avoidance by friends, leaving her church. Boob puns proliferate, especially at a "Boob Voyage" party thrown by friends before Natalie's double mastectomy. Amidst the ugliness of chemo, hair loss and upchucking at the thought of chocolate is a chance for Natalie to make new friends, establish priorities, loosen some overly close family ties and develop empathy. And yes-have reconstructive surgery that increases her original A cup size. Romance waits in the wings, of course, and readers won't have to guess too hard to know Natalie's Mr. Right. There are a few faux pas, including an odd dream sequence and a plug for what appears to be Walker's own nonfiction book, Thanks for the Mammogram!. Those diagnosed with breast cancer, survivors and their women friends will find this an enjoyable and encouraging read. (Sept. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Twenty-seven year-old Natalie Moore seemed to have it all: a good-paying job, a handsome boyfriend, a great relationship with her parents, a solid church, two wonderful best friends, and a homey cottage all to herself (even if it was in her parents backyard). All this changed after Natalie accidentally discovered a small lump on her left breast. Learning the lump is cancerous, Natalies life changes drastically as she faces the painful reality of life with cancer. The support of family, friends, and fellow breast cancer warriors leads Natalie to take risks and uncover new loves and passions in her life.
Laura Jensen Walker, a breast cancer survivor herself, takes readers through Natalies daily battle emotionally, physically, and spiritually against this life-altering disease in Reconstructing Natalie. Told from Natalies perspective, the reader gains a sense of what its really like living with breast cancer. Walker portrays Natalie in a way that readers can sympathize with her, feeling her pain, frustration, joy, and sorrow throughout her cancer journey.
In order to prevent the cancer from spreading, Natalie decides to have a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy. For a currently-single woman already sensitive about her breasts, Natalie wonders if shell ever have a love life again once she becomes breast-less and bald. With the constant love and support of those around her, especially her childhood friend Andy, Natalie learns that her worth does not depend on her breasts or any of her physical attributes.
Natalie is a strong character with multiple dimensions and a sense of humor. As the narrator, she is honest and genuine about her emotions in every situation. Some Christians might be slightly offended when, after her diagnosis, Natalie decides against telling a girl at her office that shes showing too much cleavage by wearing low-neck shirt. Natalie thought, She might as well enjoy her boobs while she can. This kind of reaction from a woman who once scolded this same office assistant for dressing immodestly reveals the candid and real thoughts of a woman just diagnosed with breast cancer. Even a Christian woman is still a woman who is influenced by societys standards of beauty. Shes not immune to having these kinds of thoughts. Natalies not perfect by any means, which humanizes her and makes her someone all women can relate to.
Jensens descriptions and characterization of minor characters such as Jillian, Merritt, Andy, and Josh are detailed and consistent. The reader feels as though she really knows these characters and their personalities. At times, it seems as though Jensen gives excessive detail to character development. In one scene, she is showing the obsession Natalie, Jillian, and Merritt have with the TV show Friends. She has the three women arguing over what happened in an episode for quite some time, giving details specific to the show that arent necessary for the novel or for character development. Jensen also devotes a portion of the book solely to Natalies cancer journal entries. While its beneficial to read some of Natalies entries, the same thing happens in every entry, which makes that section less interesting to read. The romantic connection between Andy and Natalie unfolds gradually, but becomes slightly unrealistic when they confess their love to one another and the next minute Andys asking for Natalies hand in marriage. This could seem possible considering their lifelong friendship, but as a reader, I didnt expect the engagement to come so soon. There arent any scenes of Natalie and Andys wedding either, so thats slightly disappointing for those hopeless romantics out there.
This novel is a captivating page-turner, bringing you into the life and reality of a breast cancer survivor. The emotions and thoughts of the narrator are real, making it so you cant help but root for Natalie as she battles the disease. If you are a woman looking to relate to a genuine female character in a novel that touches all emotions, culminating into a story of hope, then this novel is for you. Christy Wong, Christian Book Previews.com
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