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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
Nancy Sharp and Brett Brett Zickerman seemed to be the perfect couple until, unbelievably, he got brain cancer while only in his 30s. After surgery and chemotherapy it seemed his cancer was gone, but since they knew he would be sterile after the chemo, they had stored some of his sperm. They felt safe to have children, and so proceeded with in vitro. When she got pregnant, they learned they were to have twins, and life seemed to be joyful again. But on the very day she gave birth to Rebecca and Casey, they found that Brett’s cancer had returned. Throughout Both Sides Now, a sensitive book of many short chapters, you’ll grieve with Nancy as they celebrate Brett’s last cheese steak sandwich, the last dinner party with friends, and his last goodbye with the children. He fought the cancer as long as he could and then suddenly he was gone. The twins were just toddlers and didn’t understand. They would wait for him outside his bedroom door. They were afraid for their mother to go anywhere without them for fear she wouldn’t come back either. You’ll weep at the tenderness of the children missing their father. And finally the story comes full circle, and they find a temple to belong to. They move on with their lives, as a family team, and find normalcy once again. Brett is always with them and they will always miss him, but life is happy again and their hearts are open to new experiences.
Both Sides Now is a true story and conveys the raw nature of life when hard things happen. It’s painful when loved ones get sick and die and yet a young mother has to go on for her children. Nancy Sharp’s story should help bring comfort to others facing the impossible. This is a fabulous book that made me cry in a few spots and I'm not usually one to cry; maybe at a movie, but never a book. Five stars to Both Sides Now.