The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebbecca Skloot

This is the incredible story of the HeLa cells that changed the world, the woman behind them, and her family who had to cope with the fallout of the cells impact.

The importance of Henrietta’s cells is immense, and following the breakthroughs they enabled as well as the ethical debate surrounding cell donation (or lack thereof) makes for fascinating reading. Skloots skipping between the journey of the cells and the Lacks family was done well, quite often jumping back and forth in non-fiction leads to some confusion but in this case it was well paced and drove the book along.

My only qualms about this book is Skloot’s treatment of the Lacks family. She mentions several times how other journalists dogged them and clearly doesn’t consider herself to be doing the same, and yet she regularly bombarded Deborah with calls and messages, and even rings her family members constantly until Deborah responds. That she might of been adding to the woman’s serious health issues doesn’t seem to cross her mind.

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