Jessica Jackson has hit all the milestones for turning thirty – the career, the loving boyfriend and a cosy London flat they share with their cat. But a shocking diagnosis of breast cancer turns Jess’s world upside down, and her contented life implodes with it.
Around her, her friends’ lives continue to follow the script, with the big white weddings and the baby scans. With her own future so uncertain, the only thing Jess is sure of is that she’s being left behind.
In the midst of it all, she meets Annabel, an enigmatic twenty-seven-year-old with incurable cancer. But while Annabel may not have long left, she understands much more about living than anyone Jess has ever met. And she’s determined to show Jess how to make every day count.
I was drawn to this book by the stunning cover and its strong, bold title. While I’ve had it on my NetGalley list for a while, it somehow got pushed to the back until the day I remembered it and realised this was the only book I wanted to read.
The book opens with Jess having taken a step up in her career, becoming acting editor of a women’s lifestyle magazine, and getting noticed by the who’s who in the magazine world. Meanwhile, her personal life takes a beating when her test results indicate she has breast cancer.
As she begins to come to grips with her future and explore treatment options, she also becomes aware that her doting boyfriend cheated on her. Devasted at the curveball she has been thrown, not long after losing her mother to cancer, Jess finds herself stranded at the crossroads.
Single Bald Female is about a thirty-one year old woman who, forced to set aside her dreams of building a career and making a family, is now staring at the harsh reality of probably losing everything she ever wanted.
In her captivating debut, Laura Price draws from her own experience of being diagnosed with cancer to tell a story that brings harsh realities to the surface. And yet, she writes with an incredible lightness that will lift your spirits even when reading it becomes emotionally overwhelming.
The story discusses a woman’s determination to excel in her career, racing ahead of the competition, while also dealing with fertility issues resulting from chemotherapy, alongside a strong will to fight her body’s biggest enemy.
Annabel saunters into Jess’s life with not much time left but she has the glow of promise trailing behind her. With a wild card entry into The Chemo Club, Jess meets other people undergoing treatment who refuse to be bogged down. Spending time with them, Jess easily warms up to them and Annabel’s zest for life.
There’s a lot of ugly crying that comes with reading this book (be prepared with an extra-large box of tissues). This not simply about Jess but also how her diagnosis affects those around her – her family, her friends, as well as her work. Even so, for every tear you shed for Jess and Annabel, you will find yourself laughing joyously as they live up each moment.
Spirited and life-affirming, Single Bald Female will comfort you with its unflinchingly honest take on life while inspiring you with its warm, tender moments.
Single Bald Female by Laura Price. Published in April 2022 by Macmillan, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Pan Macmillan.
Book 19 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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