Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Book Review: Between Me and the River by Carrie Host

Genre: Personal Memoir

Publisher: Harlequin (Aug 2009)

Pages: 298 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 9/10

Between Me and the River: Living Beyond Cancer: A Memoir by Carrie Host


When told at forty, with her youngest child just ten months old, that she had carcinoid tumor, Host felt as if she'd been hurled into a raging river, stripped of all forms of potential rescue. The voyage of this strong-minded, openhearted woman out of that river and onto safe shores is told with uncompromising honesty and respect for the miracles that medicine and love can work.

While dealing with practical issues such as how to find the best medical team and what to tell the children, Host also recounts the many spiritual and eye-opening lessons that made her journey so bearable: how to see what is available rather than what is absent, how to free up energy to heal by letting go of anger and fear, and how to believe in the future.

My Thoughts:

This is an incredibly moving story of how Carrie Host deals with the most devastating news anyone could have.........being told that you have cancer, particularly when your youngest child is not even one.

One minute I was in tears as she was preparing herself for how to gently tell her two teenage children of her diagnosis and the treatment she would be having, and the next I was smiling as she describes her husband, Amory, getting the car ready --

Amory is already dressed and scraping ice and snow off the car, shoveling a clear path for me. Before I can even get my coat from the closet, I hear the engine turning over .............. sadly, he has become accustomed to my waking him at all hours........ he's never annoyed or put out, he's just constantly bailing out my boat as it begins to fill with water.

Throughout the book I kept thinking how lucky she was to have such a wonderful husband and loyal friends who looked after the children at the drop of a hat, even though some of her friends did disappear as some people just couldn't cope with seeing her battle. She was incredibly philosophical about this and understanding - which to me sums up her whole attitude to her situation.

As I followed this warm, likeable and very strong woman as she dealt with her cancer, I loved the way she constantly compared her life to being in a raging river -- sometimes she felt like she was being pulled under the water, at other times she felt as if someone was pulling her out.

This is a lovely, feel good story full of hope and compassion.

Special Thanks to Carrie Host and Lisa Roe at

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