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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Erin McAvoy is a woman on the horns of a dilemma. In Seize The Day (The UnBRCAble Women Series Book 2) by Kathryn R Biel, Erin has some difficult choices to make. In her early thirties, Erin is a zoo worker who loves her job and her animals more than anything, perhaps even more than people, but she knows she is in a race against time to achieve all she wants to achieve in life. Erin is the recipient of the BRCA variant gene that massively increases her chances of breast and ovarian cancer. As with many BRCA afflicted women in her support group, Erin knows she needs to have a mastectomy and a hysterectomy as a preventative measure before any signs of cancer appear. The problem – Erin is desperate to have a child before her chance disappears. Her conservative parents believe strongly in dating, love, marriage and THEN children but Erin may not have that luxury. All of the men she meets on her dating app. are wholly not what she is looking for and she truly despairs of ever making her dreams come true.
Writing a novel with humor, wit, and grace that deals with such a difficult and sensitive topic is an art in itself and in Seize The Day, author Kathryn R Biel has achieved that perfectly. Her lead character Erin McAvoy is perfectly drawn as a woman full of self-doubt, who lacks self-esteem and belief, yet is prepared to overcome her shortfalls and stand up for herself and fight for what she believes in and desperately wants. The mixture of doubt and daring that the author wove into this character goes straight to readers’ empathetic bones and although at times you almost want to shake her and tell her to wake up to the reality, you also know she eventually will see the obvious and grasp the opportunities. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Erin and her mother, one that was typified by that eternal problem of over-protection and parent-projection and the child that just wants to break free and do her own thing. The love interest in the story was the central theme, of course, and this was beautifully built up to a crescendo that I really appreciated. This book is listed as “women’s lit;” however, I would suggest it is a fantastic read for anyone who needs a lift in their morale and an object lesson in “when life throws lemons at you – make lemonade”. Funny, witty, sad, moving, this story has it all. It’s a winner and highly recommended by this reviewer.