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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Not in the Pink by Tina Martel is the most stunning and unusual memoir I have ever seen or read. Why do I say “seen”? Because when you read Not in the Pink, you actually SEE Tina Martel’s journey from her discovery of breast cancer, through to her chemotherapy and radiation treatments to her questionable recovery from both the physical and mental pain of the entire experience.
The reader sees this journey because Tina Martel is an artist. The page backgrounds of her memoir are paintings and photographs that illustrate what she is saying or describing in the text. Readers find themselves poring over the details in the graphics while they read the words depicting her long and difficult battle with the cancer, the treatment, the meds and, sadly, the attitudes of hospital staff and others along the way. This is not a page-turner in the regular sense of the word because one feels compelled to explore the illustrations before moving on to the next page. The entire concept is brilliant, a visual and writing feast for the eyes that leaves the reader seeing and remembering Not in the Pink long after the reading has ended.
According to an article published in 2014 by the Grand Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune, Tina Martel feels “there are many myths surrounding breast cancer” including that it’s not as difficult as other cancers. Well, she certainly debunks that myth in Not in the Pink. My reaction to what I was reading and after I’d finished was I hope I never have to go through what Tina Martel and so many other women do. There is nothing easy about breast cancer or the treatment of it. As Tina says, “It’s a profound and life-changing experience”. And yet, throughout the memoir, Tina has found moments to laugh at herself and her circumstances and share those with her readers.
I, for one, will never forget Tina Martel and how she has chosen to share her memoir, Not in the Pink. Consider me a lifelong fan of this artist and writer. Bravo!