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Book Review: Warrior Mother: a Memoir by Sheila K Collins, Ph.D.

Welcome back.

I apologize for the gap in posts, but I have been dealing with several health issues and was gone on vacation for a week. I am going to restart the Wednesday Writer Spotlight soon and will put out a call to fill in available spots as soon as I can get to it. Look out for it.

But today we have other things to cover. Before we go to the review, I’d like to let you know that my second eBook, Selling Yourself and Your Product: A Guide for Writers, is live on Amazon.

This book came to me at a time when I myself am dealing with a few medical issues. Whether this made it more difficult to read or not, I can’t say, but I couldn’t put the book down.

Sheila K Collins, Ph.D.

Warrior Mother: a Memoir

She Writes Press, 2013, 232 pages, $16.95

ISBN: 978-1-938314-46-9


“A disease that is kept a secret cannot heal.”

Ms. Collins wrote a heartfelt story on how she, as a mother, dealt with the illnesses of both her son and daughter, and the loss that resulted from them. As a mother, it was hard to read about how strong we need to be in order to hold the family together through the good and the bad times that come upon us. As I read her story, the gears in my mind churned with questions. But what if the mother is the one who is ill?  Collins’ daughter had three young children when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This brought back memories and tears in my eyes. I too was diagnosed with cancer, Hodgkin’s Disease, when my three children were aged ten and under.

Collins first had to deal with the revelation that her son was gay. But the even harder to accept announcement that he had AIDS led her on a journey of finding comfort and support outside of traditional medicine. A journey that helped, I think, later when confronted with her daughter’s diagnosis of breast cancer. From a women’s spiritual group to the forest of Brazil came the tidbits of help that kept her going.

 Collins writes as if she is sitting with you and telling you the story. She draws you in and the hold keeps the reader turning pages. Once past the loss of her son and the diagnosis of her daughter, I couldn’t put the book down until I knew what would happen. Whether it was because she was discussing cancer, or whether it was the three children in their mother’s mind all the time, I can’t say but somehow through teary eyes I managed to finish the book.

 I liked how Collins related the stories of her journey ventures into the unknown of alternative medicine. The fact that she sought out others for support, managed to overcome problems in her marital relationship as a result of the losses, and come out stronger for it put a positive spin on what could have been a very negative experience. I liked how in the midst of bigger issues, Collins fought for the little ones such as the signs in the restrooms. I couldn’t find anything to dislike. I recommend this book to anyone who is going through similar situations facing the unknown outcome of serious illnesses.

Thanks, until next time


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