I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation. Stupid, I know! This beautifully written book gripped me from the first few words. Definitely not a ‘cancer’ book. Sincere and loyal friendship is central to this great tale.
Keira is stunned to be diagnosed with breast cancer, a bolt from the blue. Telling her family and friends is a tender and very moving scene. In common with others her whole life is off kilter.
And then she meets Tamsin out running while receiving treatment. From that fortuitous moment Keira gathers strength and becomes a runner for the first time in her life. The two become 4 when Ruby and Amma join the running group. Their courage and determination to keep going while the shadow of treatment and the uncertainty of the future hangs over them is uplifting. Inspirational and endearing these are superb characters at the centre of this wonderful book. They will weave their way into your heart with their determination, drive and yes, joy of life! And despite the adversity they face their humour, often black, is very funny.
A page turner that held me in its grip for the two days it took me to read and it will linger in my mind for a very long time. There is much within these pages that will prove to be beneficial to cancer sufferers and their friends and loved ones.
The reaction from people when told of Keira’s cancer was interesting. It is hard to respond appropriately when you are told someone has cancer and too easy to be unwittingly tactless. A positive and supportive response would seem to be correct with offers of help, often from unexpected sources.
Fiction it may be but the sincerity of the writing in this book is heart warming as the writer with apparent honesty reflects on her journey of diagnosis, treatment and recovery of cancer. Rather than being a bleak book this is a frank story highlighting the challenges facing treatment that may stretch on for some time. This is no ordinary book, it is I suspect rather unique.
I am delighted that Josie Lloyd has recovered and written such a super book and I wish her all the very best for the future. Cancer may be the reason for the story but in reality this is a tribute to friendship. The emotion will move readers to tears but the light-hearted dialogue of the group will have you laughing out loud.
A feel good book that I was sorry to finish, as it was so enjoyable.
Reviewed by Sheila Grant
Published by HQ (13 May 2021)
Paperback, ISBN 978-0008373658