Liz Rosenberg's The Laws of Gravity is making BookBrowse readers cry! 20 out of 24 reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars! Here is what they say about this emotional book that asks its readers to put themselves in the protagonists' challenging shoes:
I recommend you run...not walk...to the nearest bookstore to purchase this book. Yes, it is a real tearjerker but it has an important message. Cord blood is a new, technological advance that many of us are just becoming aware of. What do you do if someone could be saved by it and yet the intent was to save it for your own immediate family...as a just in case? (Colleen L.) The Laws of Gravity is spellbinding (Bobbie D.) If you like Jodi Picoult, this one is definitely for you (Darshell S.)
Many readers were drawn to the complex issues the book explores and could not put it down:
I am drawn to books about complex social issues especially those that impact families. Characters that are real, who are developed well enough so that I can feel their emotions and a strong story line make a book exceptional for me. This book had all of this and more (Linda D.) Liz Rosenberg presents carefully developed characters and a challenging dilemma that occupied my heart and my mind long after the end of the book (Lynne S.) Nicole discovers she has life threatening cancer, and her only chance is cord blood that Ari has banked. What will happen is what no close-knit family would want to go through. Lives are forever changed. This is an emotional, heartrending story (Cam G.) I found the intersection of new life and death with the diverse responses of various family members to be intriguing (Linda W.)
The characters in The Laws of Gravity were real and full of depth:
The author creates an ensemble of believable characters with a lot of depth - a quality which puts this book on a higher plane (Elizabeth K.) This was a beautifully written and incredibly sad novel that was thought provoking. The strong story line and well-developed characters made it a book that I read almost in one sitting (Cynthia C.) I loved the character developments. Many, many beautiful moments kept the story moving even though the flow felt crafted to me. That is, until the ending. Genius how profound it became (Mark D.) Should Ari give the cord blood to help save Nicole's life? Does Nicole have the right to ask? Very complex family situation that this author tackles very well. There is great dialogue, humor, and excellent character development. I highly recommend this to anyone with a heart! (Dawn C.)
But perhaps the science behind the story wasn't mined as deeply as it could have been, suggests one of our reviewers:
This is a story with medical drama, family drama, and legal drama based on the premise that the central character, Nicole, will die without a cord blood transplant using her cousin's child's banked cord blood. Having worked in hematologist malignancy research for over a decade (albeit not in a scientific capacity), I was disappointed with the medical storyline. Specifically, it would have enhanced the story to have more interaction with her medical team, and have them be more involved in her road to transplant. There was only one reference to having made a search for transplant cells. The National Marrow Donor Program is a vast bank, and a search in the Bank would be worthy of more discussion. Lastly and most importantly, although cord blood is used in adult transplant, there are significant disadvantages such as not having enough cells for a successful transplant in an adult. Due to these disadvantages, collecting stems cells from the matching child's blood might have been a better option for efficacy, and a solution to get Nicole transplanted without using the banked cord blood. While I understand the need for some simplification, laying the foundation for the medical drama would have significantly increased my enjoyment of the book (Hazel R.)
In the end, our reviewers agreed that The Laws of Gravity begs the reader to imagine what it would be like to experience what the characters experience:
I loved this book. It is a study in ethics versus law Each of us, as we read the book, will make judgments about what we would do if we were Nicole or Ari...but the bottom line is that they both did what they felt they had to do to protect their family (Diana J.) Family is extremely important but how far do you go to save someone when it could mean that your child might not be able to be saved in the future? (Kristen H)
This review is from the May 22, 2013 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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