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on 12 October 2005
I like many others grew up watching Caron Keating on Blue Peter and watched her come across with warmth, honesty and a real love for what she was doing, and as with everyone it was with real sadness and suprise when she died last year.
Initially I was surprised that this book had been written by Gloria as Caron appeared such a deeply private person, however, having read the book - the incerpts from Caron's private diary do appear to indicate that Caron wanted her story told.
This book is above all a celebration of a young life cut far too short by a cruel disease. This book is amazingly written, detailing the many different ways Caron fought to beat her disease.
I went through all sorts of emotions reading it - upset, guilty, angry - and above all if left me in awe of an amazing lady who did everything she could to stay with us.
Having read this I now understand why Gloria decided to write this book and I urge you to read it too.
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on 14 November 2005
I agree with the other reviewers in that this is incredibly moving and I too cried at some parts. It is uplifting in places and worth a read. However I have some criticism of the book. I wasn't banking on quite so much information about Gloria herself and her marriage and career. I thought it would just be about Caron so I skimmed through most of that. There wasn't that much information about her treatments either which is what I was personally interested in. Caron gave up on the orthadox way and opted for more holistic healing, but its obvious Gloria didn't really agree with this and it comes across as a bit scathing and critical. I didn't really enjoy the book on the whole mainly because I failed to identify with Caron herself. I thought she came across as very self indulgent. She took herself off to Australia alone and left her little boys, she refused to have her second breast off as she couldn't face being "maimed", she refused medical treatment believing she could heal herself. None of this is how I would react and I couldn't help but think how lucky she was to have a husband who could pay for all these holistic treatments, she was having 5/6 a day. I felt it was a terrible waste of life and having 2 small boys myself I was crying my eyes out at the passages written by Caron about the boys growing up without her, but I didn't identify with her reaction and I was disappointed about the lack of information given about her treatments.
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on 29 March 2006
I couldn't put the book down. I was bought the book as a present and I bought the book as a present. ( for the same person) As Gloria told her story it was obvious how much she loved and cared for the daughter, but I felt that Caron was often behaving in a very selfish way. Her family deserve medals for not only going through the emotional aspect of the illness but for putting up with Caron's often wacky methods of treatement that she thought could heal her. And then when tratment was attempted had she left it too late? It must have been incredibly difficult for Gloria to tell this story, and from reading about Caron's early days she appeared to be rather spoilt then too. I do hope that the family will remember the good times and pray that her two boys will always have golden memories of Caron.I hope that Russ will behappy in whatever he decides to do in the future. My heart goes out to him.
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on 6 June 2006
This is a book of breath-taking honesty and portrays a strong bond between mother and daughter. Gloria writes with obvious admiration of Caron's courage and her many good qualities but acknowledges that no one is perfect. This only adds to the emotion of her story and makes Caron a 'real' person, not a saint.I found it at times very moving and never less than interesting and you are left wishing that it could have a different ending. But it is a book about life - a case of living rather than dying of cancer and you are left with a profound admiration for all concerned.Highly recommended.
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on 11 January 2006
I had been keen to read this book as soon as it was published as I have always been a huge fan of Caron Keating and was saddened as the news of her death. From the moment I read the first page, I couldn't put it down. Caron went to hell and back but still managed to hold onto the hope that she would find a cure. Yes, she was very lucky to have the money to go in search of the cure which might appear self indulgent but if I had breast cancer, I would want to try everything possible to prolong my life and live to see my children grow up. What a wonderful support network she had. Gloria and Russ Carons Husband deserve medals as big as bin lids for all of the unending support that they gave Caron. Gloria Hunniford is a shining example of a mother that would do anything for her family and I wish the whole family much happiness and the satisfaction that they have done Caron proud.
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on 9 April 2007
A biography-esque book that looks at life through different perspectives. On one hand you find a loving mum telling the story how she saw it and on the other the daughters version of how things really were. A book that features love, fame, anger and a brutal disease that ended a beautiful young womans life prematurely. Most books I read if I like them I cant put down, this one I had to to wipe the tears that were streaming down my face. I bought this book for my mum for Xmas who was then diagnosed with breast cancer two months later. I am sure this book was an inspiration to her and to all the family. I am now reading the book for a second time to ensure I didnt miss anything. I cant recommend this book highly enough but be warned have some tissues handy. ps My mum is okay.
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on 18 November 2005
Unbelievable and Insurmountable Courage is found through out this book. I was struck, literaly struck with the profoundness of the writing throughout this book. I also cried many times as well, feeling what each person must have felt during the time of such a difficult struggle to live. Another book I recommend is Nightmares Echo, another courageous read.
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on 2 April 2007
I was eager to read this book but it actually told the reader very little of breast cancer. I also think the title was a misnomer as having read the book Caron was not at all courageous she was totally in denial which is fine, I'm not saying I would be any different but I'm surprised everyone praised her for her courage when it was clear that she never really confronted her illness to the extent where she didn't even make a will.

I didn't think the book was at all well written either although it is good that inspite of the incredibly close relationship mother and daughter shared that Gloria did not idealise Caron and portrayed her warts and all.

It is a shame that Caron refused the tamoxifen she was offered after her initial diagnosis and also refused a 2nd mastectomy or didn't have a mastectomy at the outset which may have resulted in a better outcome. Also this book has made me even more sceptical of alternative therapies.

It also struck me as incredibly sad that Caron felt do embarrassed and ashamed of her illness as cancer used to carry a huge stigma and some cancers probably still do but I thought we'd moved on from all of that.

Her husband certainly came across as being a saint and having put up with an awful lot as well as put his own life on hold for 7 years and I hope that he is happy with his new wife as he did not deserve any of the criticism he got for remarrying. My heart goes out to them all, especially Gloria as I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child.
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on 31 January 2006
I read this book because I have had breast cancer and also because I grew up watching Caron Keating on Blue Peter and whilst it is terribly sad to find yet another young woman who has had breast cancer it is equally disturbing that, given the fact Caron had two young children, she did not go for all the conventional treatment she could of had especially once her cancer returned. Rather she thought she could heal herself and turned her back on conventional medicine to such an extent that she then became completely incurable. Only then, did she decide to have some radiotherapy, when it was too late to help her, except to provide short term palliative care - that to me is the saddest aspect to this story.
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on 1 February 2012
Since Caron Keating maintained her privacy throughout her battle with cancer, her death came as quite a shock to me.

I had so many questions. What happened to her? Why hadn't I heard she had been sick? Did the doctors know what caused her breast cancer? Why did it spread? Was it true she refused treatment? What kind of self-healing did she try? Who was advising her and why did she trust them? So many questions!

This biography explores these questions and answers many of them.

Of course, the tale is not Caron's own. It is told through the words of her mother, Gloria Hunniford. The mother-daughter relationship adds an extra dimension to the biography. Gloria tells us her side. Gloria tells us about Caron's brothers, father and husband. We hear Caron's own words, too. Caron was considering writing a book about her healing journey. We are not snooping on Caron's privacy: Gloria tells us Caron wanted her story told.

The first half of the book annoyed me intensely but I kept telling myself that Gloria was angry herself, then I couldn't help but feel pity and compassion for Gloria's plight.

The second half of the book transformed me. As Caron is dying (the cancer spreads to her bones) her light shines brighter and her message becomes clearer. Even in her photographs she looks genuinely happier and more beautiful.

Deeply moving and spiritual, this book is about how an angel got her wings.
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