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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything that Comes After

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

This book is Yip-Williams's powerful farewell to her family, but it's also valuable for anyone considering meaning and priorities in their own life.

Wow. Julie Yip-Williams is a beautiful writer who is so smart, reflects deeply, and candidly shares the many heartbreaking aspects of facing her own imminent death from metastatic colorectal cancer. This book serves as her powerful farewell to her family but also holds meaning for anyone considering the way they live and how they might choose to face their own mortality.

The details of Yip-Williams’s childhood and the obstacles she overcame to simply be alive as an adult to face this terrible reality are incredible. But she is truly amazing in the way she honestly recounts her fury and panic, the excruciating treatments and effects, her exhaustive search for new life-extending options, and her reckoning with the realization that at some point desperate hope for survival must somehow transform into efforts to find grace in dying and to make plans for leaving loved ones behind.

I listened to the audiobook, read wonderfully by Emily Woo Zeller, with an afterword by Yip-Williams's husband Joshua Williams.

What did you think?

I feel like a meditation on dying is a heartbreakingly beautiful way to consider how we live our lives, and a poignant reminder of what makes our one life so special. That said, I have a tough time reading memoirs in which someone is fighting cancer, and I understand that this one may not be everyone's cup of tea.


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