Charina Cabanayan

Audiobook Review

Charina Cabanayan
Audiobook Review

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloots 

Since I spend quite a significant amount of time commuting in my car in between yoga classes and driving my daughters to their activities, I've found a new love for audiobooks.  

I do enjoy listening to public radio, but most times I prefer a good audiobook for commuting. There are other times where audiobooks are great, like the long hours of a flight where you can't sleep but feel like resting your eyes, or when you're folding the laundry, you name it, audiobooks are a wonderful way to stimulate your brain. They also aid in refining the skill of focusing, tuning in and listening.

This title I'm sharing with you is the audio book that I listened to while I was traveling to Europe for my honeymoon.  WARNING- it's not exactly honeymoon reading material - and there will be times you will cringe and want to turn it off.   

In this work, Rebecca Skloot shares the story of Henrietta Lacks, neé Pleasant, born in 1920 in Roanoke, VA.  Lacks, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January 1951 received treatment at John Hopkins Medical Center.  During her treatment, her cell tissues were collected and used for research (without her knowledge and consent which was typical of the time.) Unbeknownst to her and her family for many years, her cells referred to as one of the first immortal cells - HeLa - would greatly impact the development of cell culture, biotechnology and public health issues to date.  

Skloot spent over a decade researching and writing this book and it is a deeply engrossing, narrative non-fiction written with heart. If you get a chance to, read this book or better yet listen in as the narration is spot on. Thrilling, captivating, heart breaking and inspiring, this book will have you up at night and at the edge of your seat.