top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of No Cure for Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) by Kate Bowler

Touching, honest, raw, funny, and full of gritty reflections about life and faith, this was a read that I absolutely adored and gave five Bossy stars.

It takes great courage to live. Period. There are fears and disappointments and failures every day, and, in the end, the hero dies. It must be cinematic to watch us from above.


My friend James's Pastor's Book Club pick for this month was No Cure for Being Human, which I found out the same day my library hold of the book became available. It was your basic mind meld.

Reading memoirs centered around cancer is not always a go for me, but this book was special. Divinity professor Kate Bowler offers meaningful insight, gritty truth-telling, and wry humor as she shares her experiences surrounding facing stage 4 colon cancer.

I finished No Cure for Being Human in one evening, tabbed many, many passages, immediately bought my own copy, re-tabbed everything, and would have been perfectly willing to read the book again in its entirety right away.

Bowler tells the truth, whether about small gems of wisdom she gains through her grueling experiences, her emotional and physical pain, or the many absurdities that make her laugh. She lays bare the reality of her life in limbo and her life in treatment, from moments in which she reckons with her mortality to the terror of facing possibly leaving crucial things undone before her death to others' incredible (and sometimes humorous) focus on showing her love through cooking and cleaning during her health crisis.

"Is this what a siege is like?" Bowler wonders to her father at one point, noting that "There is everything to do, and nothing to be done," and that "I drift in and out of sleep only to discover that another room has been cleaned and stocked and a flurry of meals prepared and distributed with military purpose."

So many moments struck me, surprised me, or touched me as I read this lovely work, including Bowler's exploration of how our lives are largely shaped by choices out of our control and her reckoning with the way in which she considers her body after cancer treatment ("Who would fault a body that has survived so much and asked for so little?").

No Cure for Being Human is beautiful, funny, heartwarming, practical, and Kate Bowler is so wise and wonderful, I hugged this book to my chest when I finished reading it.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I mentioned Kate's book Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) in the Greedy Reading List Six Powerful Memoirs about Facing Mortality.

For more books I thought warranted five big stars, check out the Greedy Reading List Six Five-Star Bossy Reads to Check Out.


bottom of page