Is There Anything You Want? Audio CD – 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst a diagnosis of cancer is never anything but devastating, many real people who survive cancer or live with the diagnosis of cancer find enormous strength within themselves and draw enormous support from relationships that become stronger because of discussing the things in life that really matter. I kept hoping that one of Forster's characters would find this strength and reach out to the others, but all her characters were isolated and lonely. This was a book about lives being destroyed by cancer rather than lives lived to the full despite cancer.
I would like to know what breast cancer survivors think of this book but I would feel too nervous lending it to them. Maybe it would make them feel they were not doing too badly in the same way that Rachel Cusk's ' A life's work" made me feel I wasn't such a bad mother after all! But I think it would just make them feel depressed.
There is no doubt however that Forster writes extremely perceptively about human emotions and experiences. The book has made me think differently about a human situation and this is always her great strength.
The blurb on the Amazon page is, I think, rather over-written. In fact, I found this to be a gentle, almsot leisurely novel, although its subject (women affected by cancer) certainly isn't. The women in question are all connected with the breast cancer deparment of hte local hospital, either as patients or staff (there is the hospital volunteer, the austere Mrs.Hibbert, and the bewildered Chrissie, a young doctor). Although cancer is a dramatic subject, nothing dramatic really happens; it is a tale of small lives affected by illness, and is rather reminiscent of the novels of Barbar Pym (especially the new vicar, who is both misunderstanding and misunderstood).
LIke all Forster's novels, this one is beautifully written, and if you are a fan, I'm sure you will enjoy it. But if you are new to this author, I would start with something more substantial, such as Lady's Maid or Have the Men Had Enough. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for a Book club and wish I had t bothered. It was v disjointed and totally lacked cohesion.Published 9 months ago by Bee
I read this for a library book group, even though it wouldn't have been my choice of title. It's an excellent example of character development, but there wasn't enough of a plot... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Philip Davies
Recommended by a friend and she said I must read this. It left me wanting to know what happened to the people featured in the story. I felt I was left hanging in mid air. Read morePublished 23 months ago by E. Gibbs
Excellent as usual. Do so enjoy & admire your amazing characterisation( if there is such a word!)Published on 30 Jan. 2015 by Frank & Ethel Wendy Dowson
This is one of those books you can't get enough of as mothers who are always trying to get it right will recognize when they start reading it! A book to get lost inPublished on 25 Nov. 2013 by Mr Kenneth Ware
I loved this book. It concerns what most would term dark subject matter - dealing with women's reaction to their cancer. Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2012 by C. Kirby