If you can get past some of the narrative drag, however, Makherjee’s reporting and historical narrative are fascinating. And since cancer touches nearly everyone in this country in one way or another, the book also serves as a primer on what we’re facing.
I didn’t feel like I got to know the author, her husband, or anything that would connect to me to her world. In the end, that was what disappointed me the most. The book felt like a missed opportunity.
If you’ve ever wondered how to engage groups (large or small) in order to find out how they feel, understand a problem, or develop solutions that have buy-in from a large constituency, this (and Change by Design) are worth reading.
For the last decade, Appalachian artists have worked to take back their stories from a world that seemed more than happy to let the stereotypical tropes of the region drive our national discourse about the area, and its people.
This isn’t to say the story wasn’t interesting. The sheer nature of the disregard and disrepair in Walls’ childhood compelled me to turn the page. But the writing felt as though it worked against the story.