After hearing about this book on NPR and seeing it on even the smallest bookshelves, I gave in and read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks:

The book is about Henrietta Lacks, her family ,and the immortality of her cervical cancer cells (HeLa). Skloot has done some of the most intense research I’ve ever read. She artfully weaves in her research methods with the research itself. It’s a compelling read. Not the most poetic book but I doubt the fact checkers would let much poetry stay.

If this is a subject that interests you – cell cultures, patient rights, the roots of cancer research – then you should definitely read this book. If not, you still might want to read it. I’m usually not interested in the bureaucracy of medicine but this book pulled me along. The Lacks family is as  compelling a subject as any reader/writer could hope. Henrietta’s story is simply heartbreaking. If you’ve been picking it up and putting it back down like I did, go ahead and buy it, if only to talk about it with the rest of the world.

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