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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Karen M. Garcia’s memoir, If I Fall Apart, chronicles her experiences as a breast cancer survivor. Growing up in Hawaii in the '60s, Karen has a happy and stable childhood. She meets Nestor while she is in high school and he is in his freshman year in college, and they eventually get married. Nestor is a news reporter in one of Hawaii’s top television shows and Karen is a career woman. With their two daughters, they settle into a comfortable married life. They move to mainland United States when Nestor is hired as a press secretary by a US senator. He later decides to go into politics back in Hawaii and, while in the midst of campaigning with her husband for the US Congress, Karen is diagnosed with breast cancer. This is her story.
If I Fall Apart is a compelling tale of one woman’s battle against breast cancer. Karen M. Garcia writes about her life as a wife, mother, and above all, as a woman facing her own mortality. It is heartbreaking for anyone to be in the prime of life and then be diagnosed with cancer. A lot of women out there may not give this disease a second thought, but what happened to Karen can happen to any of us. And this is perhaps one of the main reasons why this book came about: so that those who may face the same situation will not grope in the dark. The author shares with her readers her intimate experience with the disease in such an encompassing way that we get to know what is in her heart and mind as she goes through the diagnosis and the treatment itself. Her message is that this is an illness that may make you feel defenseless, but it should not break your spirit.