The book Between Two Kingdoms, a memoir by Suleika Jaouad, was an amazing read. I was captivated by her story from page one, completely hooked. It’s so many things, including heartwarming, a love story, horrifying, unbelievable, heartbreaking, touching, and captivating.
Suleika writes about first discovering she has a deadly form of leukemia at only twenty-three years old, then we learn everything that follows for the next few years. She begins just before the diagnosis when her symptoms were not known as symptoms just yet. She introduces herself to us, drawing us in, putting us as close to being in her shoes as possible as we follow her through her journey.
We the readers, follow her through the many lessons she discovers along the way, both the good and the disappointing. But rather than stop at feeling sorry for this young woman, you will be in awe of her ability to survive it all as well as what she accomplishes along the way.
We get to “witness” her falling in love with a lovely young man who chooses to stay with her through every challenging step cancer takes them through. Something most young men (twentysomethings) wouldn’t be mature enough to handle. You’ll be rooting for them with every turn of the page!
However, if you’re expecting it all to be wrapped up in a nice, clean bow by the end (as I was!), you’ll be in for a surprise. Keep in mind that she’s still young, having written this memoir in her twenties and having it published when she couldn’t have been much over thirty. She’s still living through cancer, facing its possible return every day, while her body tries to decide if it will completely accept her bone marrow transplant or not. Her story doesn’t end on the last page. In fact, I’m hoping for another memoir from her about the next ten years of her life. I want to know where she lands, where else this life journey takes this remarkable woman.
Between Two Kingdoms is one of the top memoirs I’ve read over the years. Her writing is amazing, but what she’s endured and is still enduring is almost unbelievable. Humans can accomplish phenomenal things and overcome more than seems possible. You will be in awe.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I wish you all good health and happy reading!
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”—Eleanor Roosevelt