Publication: September 20, 2016
# of Pages: 320
Source: Publisher for Honest Review
The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.
A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically.
Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a "soul marrow transplant," examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives.
But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world
—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves.The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.
Marrow is unlike any other memoir I have read before as it chronicles a love story between two sisters and not one that solely focuses on partnership. Lesser beautifully weaves together the story of how she becomes a sole donor to her sister Maggie after she is diagnosed with cancer. The craft with which this novel was written was simply amazing and I loved how she was able to take the reader along with her on this emotional journey.
One of the greatest and one of my favorite themes of this novel is the concept of forgiveness. Although, it is not easy it is freeing and can assist the soul in being freed of burden. The main characters, Lesser and Maggie, must come to terms with a lot of things that occurred in their past in order to be able move on in the present. What is relatively unique about this journey is that these two women are polar opposites. Maggie is the woman who supposedly "has it all" and Lesser is the woman who questions things and doesn't necessarily have her life in order at all times. By engaging in this healing process I felt like the women learned more about themselves, but even more about each other.
I can't praise this memoir enough. There were so many concepts that intrigued me and made me so aware of how your mind set can overall affect your well being. It was beautiful that these women wanted to emotionally and mentally prepare themselves for the marrow transplant by engaging in therapy hoping that in the long wrong it would better prepare Maggie for the transplant. What was even more beautiful about the memoir is that although it is written and told from the perspective of Lesser, we have access to journal entries and notes written by Maggie during this entire process. Overall, this gave the reader better insight to the entire situation/circumstance surrounding the sisters.
If you are looking for a novel that gives beautiful, in-depth, and intriguing perspectives and outlooks on life, I would highly recommend this novel. It truly is a work of art and a pure and honest love story that I have yet to see in any other book.
ELIZABETH LESSER is the author of The Seeker’s Guide and the New York Times bestseller Broken Open. She is the cofounder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences that focus on holistic health, psychology, spirituality, creativity, and social change. Prior to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and childbirth educator. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.