Eating Pomegranates, By Sarah Gabriel

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The Independent Culture

Sadly so prevalent in recent years, the cancer memoir has seldom scaled the heights of eloquence or the depths of understanding that Sarah Gabriel brings to this book. Her breast cancer derived from a heritable mutation, M18T.

So this story of family history and personal odyssey has an almost Hardy-like quality of destiny foretold, as Gabriel fears that "I am going to die, as my mother did before me", and considers her two daughters' fate.

But she has the precious gift of moving between the emotional ordeal of the disease and the genetic traffic behind it – the science and the soul – without reductionism on either side.

Brave and graceful, this noble bid to navigate "a world of complexity" triumphs with, rather than over, adversity.