Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

On Friday, I picked “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” as my  next book to read.

I started it Saturday afternoon and finished it Sunday morning.

I love to read and I’m a relatively fast reader, but I zipped through this book at a speed that even amazed me. I was a huge fan of this book, which I picked up at the recommendation of a grad school pal.

Author Rebecca Skloot  put together such an amazing book here. She tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cancer cells were taken from her without her knowledge and were used to test some of the most important medical discoveries in the world. Meanwhile, a billion dollar industry popped up around her cells and her children couldn’t afford health insurance.  There’s also great tidbits of history in there about the history of testing medical discoveries on blacks in a pre civil rights era.

Skloot weaves together pieces of Henrietta’s biography, the scientific importance and debate over the HeLa cell and her interaction with the Lacks’ family as she sought to tell their story.

It’s a must read.


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