Review: From the Feet Up by Tanya Saad

 

 

Title: From the Feet Up

Author: Tanya Saad

Published: Harlequin MIRA April 2014

Status: Read from April 12 to 13, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

At the age of 30, Tanya Saad tested positive for BRCA1, a hereditary gene that greatly increases the risk of its carrier developing aggressive breast and/or ovarian cancer, forcing her to make difficult choices in order to preserve her health. From the Feet Up is the story of Tanya’s journey from childhood to a woman facing up to an uncertain future.

The eldest of three girls, Tanya was born and raised in the small New South Wales country town of Taree by her immigrant Lebanese parents, next door to her fraternal grandparents. Athletic and talented, Tanya, and her sisters, were involved in competitive swimming with Olympian dreams and Eisteddfods (playing piano) in between working at the family’s shoe store chain and helping out on their grandparent’s small cattle and fruit & vegetable farm. The most significant childhood event for Tanya was a three month holiday to Lebanon taken just months after the end of the Lebanese Civil War in 1990 to visit relatives. Bullied in part because of her heritage during primary school, high school provided some relief but Tanya gratefully escaped the region after graduation, returning only for family occasions and holidays.

Tanya’s memories of her childhood experiences weave in and out of her adult narrative. In the period before her diagnosis, Tanya was living in Canberra enjoying a high pressure career in politics while developing a competitive edge in road cycling. She maintained close ties to her parents and her two sisters, Vivian and Paula, now living in Sydney, and undertook the genetic testing as part of Hereditary Cancer project after it was discovered her father was a carrier of the faulty gene, their family history having revealed several generations of women who died of breast or ovarian cancer, some only in their early twenties. Both Tanya and Paula were found to have inherited the BRCA1 gene.

With strength, grace and courage Tanya shares her thoughts and emotions as she wrestles with the hand fate has dealt her. Still single and childless, the preventative options for sufferers of the BRCA1 gene including a bilateral mastectomy and a complete, or partial salpingo-oophorectomy (the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes), could permanently affect Tanya’s chances of pregnancy, but decrease her risk of developing cancer by as much as 90%. Tanya must weigh the risks and benefits and make a decision about her future.

From The Feet Up is a poignant, articulate and ultimately uplifting memoir sure to give hope to women facing a similarly confronting diagnosis and raise awareness of the risks associated with the BRCA1 gene.

* I should disclose that Tanya’s family home, as described in her memoir, is just around the corner from where I live. We have never met though, I’m not a ‘local’, only having lived in the town for a decade, but I have shopped at the family’s shoe store in town.

*Please note: I choose not to give memoirs a star rating*

 

From the Feet Up is available to purchase from

Harlequin I boomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AU I Amazon US

  via Booko

awwbadge_2014

 

About these ads

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tanya Saad
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 18:18:32

    Thank you for a well summarised review of From the Feet Up. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I think ten years is sufficient time to be a local. As predicted, of course now I know you live around the corner from the Saad’s family resort as we affectionately call it, I do hope to meet you one day. After all, we are all ordinary extraordinary people with a story to tell.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Lisa
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 04:31:19

    Thank you for sharing this review. I hadn’t heard of the book before now (maybe not much publicized in the US?), but it sounds so moving and wonderful. I’ll be on the look-out for this one!

    Like

    Reply

  3. Lindsey
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 00:30:14

    I had seen this book in a few other places. It sounds like a great memoir about a difficult time.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Teddyree
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 23:02:03

    On my reading list this week, I’m always inspired by people who share their experiences, bringing awareness to difficult subjects.

    Like

    Reply

  5. Trackback: Histories and Life Writing in Autumn | Australian Women Writers Challenge

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,729 other followers