A Memoir of Mothers, Daughters and Genes
An astonishing first book and an intensely powerful and moving memoir about mothers, daughters and breast cancer
This is a book about mothers and motherless daughters, and about a woman so scared of leaving her own children that she is hardly able to mother them herself.
After a troubled upbringing that saw the early death of her mother from cancer, Sarah Gabriel had created a happy home life with her partner and two beautiful daughters. Then, at 44, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned that while you can turn your back on your past, you can’t escape your genetic legacy. The problem was MI8T, a rare and deadly genetic mutation that was responsible for the death of her mother and countless female ancestors. In Gabriel’s struggle for survival, she takes us on a white-knuckle ride through contemporary genetics, the rigours of her treatment for cancer, and the impact of the disease on her family’s dynamics. It is a fight not just for physical survival, but for identity, for sanity, for hope.
Laced with black humour, written with a mixture of passion and clinical accuracy, Eating Pomegranates is an intensely powerful and moving memoir about mothers, daughters and breast cancer that is as beautiful as it is brutal.
“A beautiful, heartrending book”
“It is a very brave book... Gabriel is an astute writer with a keen eye for the telling detail”
Kate Chisholm, Daily Mail
“To say that Eating Pomegranates is beautifully written is to understate: it has a psalmic quality, rising to a Shakespearean English, the testament of a "broken fragment, slivered and disbranched from her material sap"”
Stevie Davies, Independent
“4*, It's very intimate, and very well told.”
William Leith, Scotland on Sunday
“sadly so prevalent in recent years, the cancer memoir has seldom scaled the heights of eloquence or the depths of understanding that Sarah Gabriel brings to this book.”
“It always rings true, written, even at its most distressing, with elegant self-critical precision”
Judith Rice, Guardian
“Gabriel's account of her illness is not only a literary gem, but will force anyone who reads it to re-assess how they talk to friends and family facing a similar prognosis.”
Emma Hagestadt, The Lady
“Remarkable, uncompromising and full of intelligence and insight...she has done a great service in probing social attitudes and in describing the intricate, often unspoken negotiations between the sick and the well”