Favourite Line “A mixture of horror and sympathy flickered across his face as the information sank in.”

I’ve always been rather snooty when it comes to book characters with Cystic Fibrosis. Characters who were like me were the only thing lacking from the stories I grew up on. On the odd occasion when I have stumbled across them, the medical details were never quite right, and the characters themselves seemed shallow.

I saw a recommendation from another person with Cystic Fibrosis for Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell and thought I’d give it a go. I felt an initial connection to the character of Hallie, but the discrepancy with medical details jarred a little. Some medical details were simply not feasible, some treated insignificantly, and another major plot point used an outdated transplant technique as an emotional grab.

As a writer I see why she chose these elements for her story. A domino transplant (*my explanation of a Domino Transplant does reveal a potential spoiler) tugs the heartstrings a little more and a non-chatty protagonist doesn’t read well on paper. I assured myself the inaccuracies in the outdated medical details were because Mansell had to research this novel, she is not an #ourvoices writer.

Despite this, I had a huge emotional connection to Hallie – in particular her desire for Ross to see her as a person first, and a person who happens to have a chronic illness second. I know her frustration and the emotional impact all too well.

I dated other people with Cystic Fibrosis to avoid this issue. I settled for a toxic relationship because that seemed easier than living alone. The worst heartache I experienced was the devastation when, in the midst of a mad affair, my health plummeted and I watched a man I so desperately wanted to love me, look at me with pity because of the PICC line in my arm.

In the blink of an eye, as Mansell brought back those emotions I know so well, the inaccuracies no longer mattered. In that moment, with those emotions, she nailed it.

 

You’ll find more of my recommendations for reading about Cystic Fibrosis on my Pintrest Board : Cystic Fibrosis in Print – Books and More

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