Lump: 19 Monologues from a 27-Year-Old Breast Cancer Survivor
Sublimity Press (2011)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (8/11)
Breast cancer… the stuff of nightmares for most of us. If you are a woman, you have found, or at some point in life you will find a lump where you certainly do not want to find one. Chances are actually quite high that it will be benign, particularly if you do not fall into the risk category. But then, Leena Luther was not in any risk category herself, without any known family history of breast cancer and living a healthy life. Yet she found THE lump at 27 years of age. How scary… and how brave to not only face the disease, but dare to write about it afterwards. Although Leena Luther states in her book that she is not a heroine, I beg to differ. As far as I am concerned, she’s both a heroine and a role model, since I found her book to be a great blueprint for dealing with adversity of any kind.
“Lump” ended up being an unexpectedly delightful book, and not even remotely depressing as I feared it would be. Ms. Luther approached the situation with bravery and a certain borderline irreverence, and I am using this last in the best possible sense of the word. Her approach seemed to be vaguely along the lines of, “I am so sorry, cancer, but I am way too busy dealing with my life and move to NYC and what-not right now, so if you’d excuse me, I want to take care of this and move on.” While there was plenty of heartbreaking and gut wrenching moments in the book, the overall tone of the narrative remained positive and uplifting. I laughed out loud often, and I have to confess I will never look at the Tic-Tacs quite the same way again.
I also enjoyed the format of “Lump,” which is written as a series of monologues. Those could easily be used for performances and for auditioning purposes. With the great variety of topics, well-nuanced content and strong characterization they should prove to be adequately challenging and very fulfilling for any young actress brave enough to tackle them.