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Book Review: “Redeemed” by Heather King

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At the age of 38, Heather King found herself working as an attorney in Beverly Hills after spending her entire adult life working as a waitress and struggling with alcoholism. Her memoir, "Redeemed," sweeps you up in eloquent prose as King takes you along on her journey through her father's death, her breast cancer, her divorce, and through it all, her spirituality.

The most touching part of the book was King's description of her father's final days before he succumbed to congestive heart and kidney failure, as well as tortuous complications from diabetes. As she, her siblings, and mom dealt with the imminent loss of the man who was the glue that held their family together, I felt I was right there with them.

One striking scene was when King took an early morning walk along the ocean, after the family decided to discontinue her father's dialysis treatments. "Brown seaweed spreads itself out like hair over the barnacled rocks; gulls send up plaintive cries. Waves lap in with a tongue of foam and recede, the smooth weathered rocks clattering like bones."

When King was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was overwhelmed as she read book after book in her search for the best treatment. Like so many of us who are faced with a terrifying diagnosis, we are bombarded by conflicting messages (ie: Eat soy! No, don't eat soy!). In the end, King went against her doctors' recommendations and chose a more spiritual path than traditional chemo and radiation. Eight years out, she remains cancer-free.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who's ever faced an addiction, the loss of a loved one, a health scare, a quest for spirituality, or a divorce. King's poignant memoir makes you feel you're not the only one stumbling through life challenges.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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