A touching and detailed medical memoir about a strong young teen battling cancer and the extraordinary love and strength between two sisters.

Better off bald: A life in 147 days book review by duffythewriter

Adrienne Wilson is a depressed, suicidal teenager—until the day she receives a diagnosis of stage IV liver cancer. Facing the fight of her life, Adrienne discovered just how much she wants to live. In Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, Andrea Wilson Woods chronicles her sister’s remarkable life, from the time she was born to the day she dies at age fifteen.

Written like a journal, Andrea takes the reader inside her and Adrienne’s journey explaining how she gained custody of Adrienne from their mother and how the sisters’ relationship evolved over time. Adrienne’s courageous spirit shines through as she squeezes more life into 147 days than most people do in a lifetime. From meeting Jay Leno to spending the day with Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, Adrienne makes every moment count. As she lay dying, Adrienne teaches Andrea how to live. 

Duffy’s Thoughts On Better Off Bald – A Life in 147 Days

The last time I read about a woman battling cancer, it was the incredible Patient 71 by Julie Randall. I was so moved by the book I actually met and keep in contact with Julie. Her story was so moving and at times hard to comprehend, which made me wonder if I could handle reading about a young teenager going through the same battles. I’m glad to say that I took the plunge and read the story of Andrea and Adrienne.

Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days is a very moving, sometimes difficult to read but incredible book. The detail about the medications and procedures is something usually glossed over, but gives the reader a real sense of what it’s like navigating a confusing and complicated medical system and prescriptions.

Young Adrienne’s life, from the moment she was born, when she was diagnosed with liver cancer, and right up until the day she died at just 15 is laid bare and is a testament to two sisters love and strength.

The book is easy to read and the flashbacks and diary entries are clear enough so the reader knows where they are in the timeline. The photos and snapshots of young Adrienne also bring a dose of reality to the reader. This isn’t a fictional character, and stories like Adrienne happen are played out every day.

Although the focus of the book is about Adrienne and her cancer battle, I found myself more deeply connected to the story of her big sister Andrea, who had it incredibly tough and still took in her sister, demonstrating the incredible bond between the two. Her strength and support shines out from the pages and it broke my heart when that bond was eventually split apart.

Better off Bald: A Life in 147 Days. Book review about a young girls cancer battle and the big sister who was with her every day
An important read, not only for cancer survivors, but for the loved ones who support them

Buy Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days from Booktopia and all good online book stores.