Tag Archives: Cancer

Sandra Z. Bruney. Angels Unaware. Columbia, MD: Draumr Publishing, 2010.

At Christmas Kat Knightly saw a reflection of herself and her husband, Jordan, in a mirror and thought to herself that they were a handsome couple in the prime of life.  By summer that all has changed.  A cancer diagnosis sends Kate down a path of surgeries and chemotherapy–treatment that leaves her bruised, scarred, and bald.  Jordan finds Kat’s illness an annoyance–her medical appointment take him away from his business, and Kat is not able to fix his meals and entertain his clients as she had done–and Jordan is not comfortable around illness. Instead of standing with Kat in her time of need, Jordan leaves to open a new office in a town a few hours away. The novel follows Kat as she makes a new life for herself–living on her own, finding a job, deepening her relationship with her son, and finding true support and comfort with new friends.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Bruney, Sandra Z., Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

Patricia Hickman. The Pirate Queen.Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook Press, 2010.

Saphora Warren has had it.  Although her life looks good to outsiders–she has raised three children, she lives in a home that will soon be featured in Southern Living, and she is liked and admired in her community–Saphora’s sense of herself has been eroded by her husband’s selfishness and infidelities.  Deciding that she needs time to herself, Saphora packs a bag, planning to spend some time at her family’s beach house in Oriental, North Carolina.  But before Saphora can get out the door, her husband Bender comes home and announces that he has cancer.  Bender wants to spend his last days at the house in Oriental, and he wants his whole family to join him there.  Soon Sophora is playing nurse, hostess, mother, therapist, and match-maker to her extended family and to an assortment of people she meets in the town.  It’s almost too much, but Saphora finds her inner strength and closes out one life with grace even as a new life opens up for her.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Hickman, Patricia, Pamlico, Religious/Inspirational

Monique Truong. Bitter in the Mouth. New York: Random House, 2010.

All of her adult life, Linda Hammerick has been asked “what it was like to grow up being Asian in the South.” Linda, adopted at the age of six by a white couple in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, has always given the following response: “You mean what was it like to grow up looking Asian in the South.”

The dissolution of her engagement, a job demotion, and a bout with cancer were all events that Linda could deal with on her own, safely in her New York City brownstone. However, it is the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle, Harper, that brings Linda back to Boiling Springs as a thirty-year old, twelve years after leaving for college at Yale. On this visit, without the gentle, insightful perspective of Harper, Linda has to come to terms with her childhood–her strained relationship with her mother, DeAnne, her understanding of her synesthesia (a neurological condition that makes Linda associate tastes with words, like Lindamint and Jesusfriedchicken), and the circumstances of her adoption. Revisiting her memories of the different people and stages in her life, Linda finds that although there are no easy answers to the questions of her youth, exploring them helps her grow.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Cleveland, Piedmont, Truong, Monique

Gina Holmes. Crossing Oceans. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2010.

Jenny Lucas has a lot to do and not much time to do it. Six years ago Jenny left her small home town, pregnant with the child of a man who had moved on to a new love.  The pregnancy was the final blow to Jenny’s relationship with her dad, a man still reeling from the death of Jenny’s mom.  The diagnosis of metastatic melanoma forces Jenny to reconnect with her father and David, her daughter’s father. One of them will have to raise young Isabella because Jenny has just months to live.

Crossing Oceans follows Jenny on her difficult journey. Jenny stays focused on her goal of preparing a good future for Isabella, but Jenny is still subject to a range of emotions, including anger, jealousy, fear, and doubt.  The people in her life–her father, (grand)Mama Peg, David and his wife, David’s father, and Craig, a man who has carried a torch for Jenny–are flawed too, and one of the pleasures of this novel is the way that many of these characters get beyond the anger and pettiness that keep them from happiness.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Holmes, Gina, Religious/Inspirational

Lynne Hinton. Christmas Cake. New York: Avon, 2009.

Beatrice, Jessie, Louise, and Margaret are fixtures in the Hope Springs Community Church.  They are also best friends – the type, for example, who accompany each other to doctor’s appointments.  When Margaret’s cancer resurfaces, the heartbroken women react to it in different ways.  Beatrice thinks that a Christmas cake cookbook contest would be a good way for the women to deal with the news; after all, the Women’s Guild Cookbook is what brought them together years ago.  As the women busily construct this collection, Margaret decides that she needs to go to Texas to visit her mother’s grave.  Jessie wants the friends to take the journey together, and they set off on the cross-country expedition just before Christmas – in a “borrowed” (later reported stolen) funeral home van.  Once in Texas, they meet up with Charlotte, their former pastor who moved out west to run a battered women’s shelter and who is part of their “Forever Friends” group. Margaret is able to make peace before dying, and the women’s friendship grows stronger through the experience.

Christmas Cake is Lynn Hinton’s fourth book in her Hope Springs series.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Hinton, Lynne, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Religious/Inspirational

Lynne Hinton. Hope Springs. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002.

The sequel to Friendship Cake finds the women of the Hope Springs Community Church Women’s Guild at it again. Although their cookbook has been published, the group has become accustomed to getting together on a regular basis to talk about their lives – the joys as well as the concerns. The core group – Beatrice, Charlotte, Jessie, Louise, and Margaret – decide to continue meeting. As each woman faces new trials, including breast cancer, depression, and the possibility of moving across the country, they provide care and encouragement to each other. For example, upon hearing that one member may have to have chemotherapy, the other four shave their heads in solidarity. Through being there for each other during every crisis, the women of Hope Springs offer a true picture of friendship.

Hope Springs is Lynn Hinton’s second book in her Hope Springs series.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Hinton, Lynne, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational

Nicholas Sparks. The Last Song. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2009.

Ronnie’s parents divorced when she was in middle school, and her dad left New York City and moved to the North Carolina coast.  It’s three years later, and Ronnie is still angry at her parents–especially her dad. Spending a summer with her father is the last thing that she wants to do, but Ronnie has no choice when her mother sends her and her younger brother Jonah to their dad’s home in Wrightsville Beach.

Ronnie’s been in trouble in New York, and when she falls in with a bad crowd in Wrightsville, it looks like more of the same.  Her dad’s response to her troubles helps to cool Ronnie’s anger.  Ronnie starts to appreciate her father, even as she also begins to fall in love with a local boy, Will.  But as Ronnie makes steps towards peace and happiness, there is a malevolent character who will block her path and something about her dad that she doesn’t yet know.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coast, New Hanover, Sparks, Nicholas

Joan Medlicott. From the Heart of Covington. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

From the Heart of Covington continues the stories of Hannah, Amelia, and Grace, older ladies who share a house in the fictional town of Covington, NC. In this, the third book in the series, a close friend’s cancer impacts all of the women, but each has her own issues to contend with. Amelia furthers her photography career and takes a trip to New York. Grace volunteers at the local elementary school, deals with her son’s rocky relationship, and faces a diabetes diagnosis. Hannah is reunited with her estranged daughter and the younger woman, Laura, comes to live in Covington after she is seriously injured in a boating disaster.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Medlicott, Joan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Ellyn Bache. Daughters of the Sea. Banks Channel Books, 2005.

Veronica, Guy and their daughter Simpson have made a life moving from one beach town to another, always in search of a better climate or a better construction job for Guy. When Veronica decides she’s finished with the nomadic existence, she and Simpson move into the home of an old friend in Whisper Springs, Maryland. Simpson settles into their new life and begins a relationship with a local. Veronica’s friend Ernie’s health is failing and she appreciates the help of the younger women. Although the move was her idea, Veronica gets restless and begins missing the sea and her husband. Most of the story is centered on the three women in Maryland, but readers also get the occasional glimpse of Guy as he works in the film industry in Wilmington.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Bache, Ellyn, Coast, Dare, New Hanover

Yvonne Lehman. Coffee Rings. Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2004.

Four college girls go to the beach and cut loose. One of them dies. When the book opens, the remaining three friends are women in their early forties. Each of the friends has built a life, but all are still affected by what happened those many years ago. When the dead girl’s mother discovers she has terminal cancer, she asks her daughter’s friends to accompany her to the scene of the accident. All the women have secrets and guilty feelings; these come out. Religious faith enables the characters to achieve self-acceptance and forgiveness.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Buncombe, Coast, Lehman, Yvonne, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational