by Laura Jensen Walker

September 2006
ISBN: 0-5955-4067-9
Reviewer Graphic Button WestBow Press
Trade Paperback

Natalie Moore thought everything was pretty well perfectóuntil she discovers a mystery lump in her breast during a routine breast exam. When she visits her doctor, she learns itís the dreaded C word. Natalie is crushed, and her boyfriend doesnít want anything to do with her when he learns she has breast cancer. Even one of Natalieís best friends starts staying away, like breast cancer might be contagious.

Now, Natalie is obsessed with breasts. Her motherís, her friendsí, her co-worker's. It doesnít matter. Especially when she learns that her type of cancer is more aggressive than the doctor originally suspected and Natalie has both breasts removed. Natalie fears that her love life is over before it begins. No man will want to marry her now.

Recovery is more painful than Natalie thought and her parents are coddling her. Not to mention her divorced neighbor, Paul, who seems to think itís his job to baby sit her when her parents arenít around. Will Natalie discover that there are men out there who will love her anyway?

Reconstructing Natalie is a wink and a smile approach to the more serious subject of breast cancer. Laura Jensen Walker is a breast cancer survivor and she approaches this book with almost gut-wrenching honesty, and in parts almost TMI. However, the book is inspiring and entertaining and I learned a lot about what women with breast cancer experience.

I loved Natalie and her friends, but the character that I really warmed up to was the sixty-year-old Grandma in Natalieís support group who flashed the gathered crowd with her newly constructed breasts. I totally admired her free spirit, and her embarrassment when she realized that there was a stranger in the room was so realistic. Reconstructing Natalie is a book you wonít want to miss. I also recommend this book for anyone you know who is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Laura.

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