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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Does what it says on the tin ...

    Three and a half stars. Keira pretty much has it all: a happy marriage to Tom, a solicitor; three children; joint owner of a family store selling high end gifts; and owner of a beloved, if flatulent, family dog. Then a cancer diagnosis changes everything, suddenly things at work are looking rocky and Keira's partner Lorna and her husband Pierre seem to be undermining Keira, added to which Keira's favourite employee Moira has taken a month's leave of absence without warning. Tom's work is stressful, he's trying for promotion, and his new assistant is a glamorous young woman with whom he has giggly late night calls and works late into the evenings and weekends. Added to which Tom's parents are becoming increasingly infirm. Feel Keira's frustration when fellow mums at the school gate arrange a rota to bring the family meals, at a time when Keira feels perfectly capable of making her own meals, other children refuse to touch her because they think cancer is catching, and her own business partner seems to think a cancer diagnosis means Keira is incapable of making decisions or even lifting boxes. The one shining light in this dark time is a woman Keira randomly meets while sitting outside the oncology clinic waiting for her diagnosis. At first Keira is judgemental about Tamsin with her heavy make-up and tattoos but when she treats cancer as no big deal and offers to run with Keira once a week the Cancer Ladies Running Club is born. Soon there are four women, all in different stages of cancer treatment, meeting once a week in the only place where everyone knows what you are going through. However, all that maybe makes this sound a bit worthy, a bit heavy going, and it really isn't. This is just as much women's fiction (I think what I am trying to say is that you could remove Keira's cancer diagnosis from the book and it would still work as a novel), the everyday ins-and-outs of marriage with children and competing careers and elderly parents. I have to say I thought the plot line with Keira's business partner rang a false note, it was too cartoon villainish. Also, as a forensic accountant I can assure you that we don't do covert copying of computers, we use digital forensic specialists for that, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales does not provide that sort of training. But that is a minor niggle. Overall, this is a book about the power of friendship, how a random act of kindness can have huge consequences and that life doesn't miraculously become perfect just because you have cancer, kids still argue, parents are still difficult, dogs still need walking and the house still needs cleaning. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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  • A Truly Endearing Read!

    An absolutely amazing read .. and one I have relished! Keira is shocked to her core when, as the result of a voluntary breast screening, she is diagnosed with cancer. She wants to keep it to herself, not tell her family and keep on working in her business but cancer doesn't wait for anything. She is soon persuaded to run with others to keep her fitness levels up whilst she undergoes treatment. The friends she makes do more for her wellbeing than anything else but life doesn't stop for illness; this is Keira's story. What a corker of a read! I'm not sure what I expected from this one, but it quite cheering; full of positivity but doesn't shy away from the hard moments. The author has created a fine bunch of characters, all realistic and entirely believable. There is nothing morbid about this novel and I can imagine it's positivity will help many a person as it is an upbeat read which doesn't hide from the fact that life goes on alongside the cancer fight. A truly endearing read and one I wouldn't have missed for anything. Josie Lloyd writes beautifully and although this is fiction, her own experiences obviously impacted strongly on her writing. An excellent read and one which, for me, has blown away several myths and replaced them with reality. This is definitely a five star read, and one I would recommend - to everyone.

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  • Emotional and uplifting

    I read this book in 24 hours and really struggled to put it down. The Cancer Ladies' Running Club tells the story of Kiera, who is newly diagnosed with breast cancer. As she comes to terms with her diagnosis, she meets Tamsin, another cancer patient, who persuades Kiera to join her running. This is the start of a beautiful friendship with Tamsin and two other runners who help each other through treatment. I found the story of how Kiera went through treatment alongside other ups and downs in her life to be a very honest and truthful story of life with cancer, and how the rest of the world doesn't just stop because you're not well. Whilst the book was definitely emotional, and I found myself in tears multiple times, I wouldn't particularly consider it a sad book, rather an uplifting book about a group of women who can do a lot more than they, and those around them, think they can. This is one of the best books I've read in a while.

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  • Refreshing

    This is a very solid read about Keira and her cancer story which although fictitious provides a very digestible but realistic account of the impact her diagnosis and treatment had on her. I can appreciate this won’t be an easy read for some but among the negatives there is a lot of humour and positivity and the other women she meets who are currently going through or have recently completed treatment add a very human but uplifting element. What works really well about this story is how life is still happening around Keira, she’s feeling pushed out at work, her husband is very busy with his own work and her children all have their own lives going on. The impact her diagnosis has on the people around her is really well related and you can understand so well why she formed friendships with the other ladies in the running group. Overall this is a really well related account of the impact cancer has but told with empathy and humour and doesn’t make for a depressing read at all despite the brutal honesty.

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  • Emotional

    I thought this book might be emotional from the title, I was not wrong. Keira is a woman happily going about her life with her family and a job she loves when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. I found the whole book heartwarming an she’s a few tears along the way. As Keira is waiting for tests she meets Tamsin running in the park, later meeting her again in the oncology department. Keira joins Tamsin running which quickly became a small group of other breast cancer patients. The strength and courage of these women was a strong theme in the book. Keira is struggling with treatment while trying to keep her business going. The author does not shy away from describing the treatment and the effects it has both physically and emotionally on Keira and her family. I couldn’t put the book down and would recommend it, although expect to be reading through tears.

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