Eating Pomegranates

I’d recommend reading Sarah Gabriel’s ‘Eating Pomegranates’, it’s a misery memoir with a difference in that she manages to interweave her own personal anger, frustration and fear after bc dx and through treatment with fact and annecdote to make a really engaging, informative and moving book. I was particularly gripped by her imagined account of Fanny Burney’s mastectomy which I found horrific but strangely cathartic reading. ‘Eating Pomegranates’ refers to how Hades made Persephone stay in the underworld for six months of the year rather than to healthy eating advice. She was screened as BRCA1 and the book deals in detail with the loss of her mother and fears for her daughters but her own responses to bc would be familiar to most of us.

Sarah Gabriel is a nom de plume, but she sounds like someone I know. I sent my copy on to a member here, be interesting to hear other views. My s-i-l died recently of ovarian so I’m back into the cancer lit. Regards to friends here I haven’t talked to in a while.

I have this book but have been busy doing some nice things lately so still only a few pages in but so far enjoying it and will try to pick up on my reading in the next few days! Also reading Justine Picardie’s book, the one she wrote after her sister Ruth’s death, ‘If the Spirit moves you.’ My Mum died very suddenly last year from ovarian cancer, diagnosed a few days before her death. Justine’s book covers that lost feeling and all those questions you have after someone has died.
Hi Bernie, I wondered if you were the same Bernie who knew my friend Ally in Cornwall? Belinda…x

Hello Belinda :slight_smile:

I’ve often read your informative posts since my own dx in 2005 but sorry to say I didn’t know Ally in Cornwall. I’m drawn to books about grief since I lost a number of close family members to cancer, so thanks for the reference. I think you’ll enjoy this book for it’s humour and exasperation as well as for it’s humanity.

I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mother. Gabriel’s own mother also died of ovarian cancer and although the feelings she expresses are very raw, I was relieved to read her honest account of the struggle it was to cope.

Belinda this is THE bernie. Long lost and much missed. x

I enjoyed Eating Pomegranates because it was very resonant for me. Sarah and I have a few thinsg in common and loss of our Mothers at an early age is one.

Bernie - you might also find Bathsheba’s Breast an interesting read. Sadly it shows how far we haven’t come.

Did you consider putting your review on Amazon? I decided against it as my take is too unobjective but I reserve the right to change my mind, what is left of it.


Long, lost, missed? Save that kind of talk for the breast, I’m still here celeste! I sent you my copy, so your review please…

Dahlia, why not post your review on Amazon? This kind of literature is all about personal response and yours is as good as any I would think.

…and now from bald to blonde tis a miracle!

Yes, I’ve had more fun too, you should try it!

I just finished Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Unaccustomed Earth’, a collection of stories about Bengali immigrants but chiefly also about loss. The stories in Part II are linked by the illness and death of a woman with bc and the devastating impact this has on her son. She has a very sparse, American style of writing which I appreciate, the characters really lived for me while I read it. Wendy gave it to me to read just before she died so perhaps that made it more poignant.

Thanks for the Bathsheba reference Dahlia, I’ll look out for that one.

Not read the books but wanted to say a big HI to Bernie :slight_smile:
We used to chat on bcpals, about our families and Ireland. Great to see you looking so well.
Jackie xxxx

How’rya Jackie!

I remember our chats :slight_smile: I hope you’re well too, any news?

I’m doing ok Bernie, back working full time. Have been told I can’t have a recon due to my skin mets but am due to see the surgeon (2nd opinion, local surgeon said no) at the Marsden re a reduction on my ‘good’ side. Appt is in Nov. I’m basically under the Marsden now anyway and the mets are currently under control with herceptin.

My eldest just started his second year at Brighton uni and my youngest is now year 11…dreaded GCSE year!

Are you teaching now?

Jackie x

Good to hear that the skin mets are under control Jackie, I hope the reduction (they did mine in day surgery) works out for you even if you can’t have the recon. I’m chagrined to say the PGCE only taught me one thing, that I’m not cut out to be a teacher, particularly since I hear you’re back working full time in spite of continuing treatment - fair play and more power to you, I could use some of your go wherever you get it from.

My son is also Year 11, though you’d never tell by his laid back attitude. Daughter is doing A levels and wrestling with her UCAS form. They’ll soon be off our hands!