I just picked this up and started reading it at random, and I cannot truthfully say I couldn’t put it down. Quite the opposite — I had to put it down, frequently, because to read any further would be too heartwrenching — but I always picked it back up again.
This is a wry, funny, and extremely heartbreaking book about a woman diagnosed with first early-onset Parkinson’s (she first starts having symptoms at around age 38) and then breast cancer and how she deals with it all. It’s crammed with gallows humor and honestly uplifting moments. I’m sort of glad Levy doesn’t live anywhere near me, though; she seems like the kind of person I’d love to hang out with, but then I’d have to go home and invoke my own personal Cry Lady. – Brooke Binkowski / Goodreads review / September, 2012
I first heard of Robyn Levy in a CBC radio interview with herself and her father discussing the trials and tribulations of living with Parkinson’s Disease. Both Robyn and her father have Parkinson’s and in addition Robyn has had to deal with breast cancer. Despite a medical history that would cripple most of us Robyn’s enthusiastic, and above all humorous, approach to dealing with medical uncertainly has led to her writing this book. I ordered it right away. It’s unusual that a book affects me in such a profound manner however Robyn writes with fierce honesty and a seriously deranged but delicious wit. The prose alternates between the realities of having serious medical problems and her very funny reactions to dealing with the enormity of the situation. I found the book a page turner and read the book in virtually one sitting. I could go on and on describing a very readable and enormously satisfying book that will appeal to a wide range of readers but don’t want to give away any of the juicy bits. Brett
Hi Robyn, Just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoyed your book…I thought it was extremely well written, poignant and compelling. The heart wrenching subject matter somehow balanced by your unique sense of humour and perspective. Your story resonated deeply and will stay with me always. Now I’m trying to figure out who should play you in the movie version!! Hmmmm…. Jane
Robyn writes with frank honesty concerning her medical problems but always with a sense of humor. She takes the reader through her illnesses and shares with us her journey as she learns to cope with the reality of her condition. This book reflects Robyn’s bravery and the closeness of her family. This book is highly readable and a must for anyone facing difficult life issues. We have recommended it to many friends and relatives. Helen
There is no other book like this one, but then, there is only one Robyn Levy. Most of Me had me simultaneously laughing, tearing up, in awe of the unselfconscious honesty, and cheering on the author. A woman who has mastered the art of living one day at a time, because she both had to and chooses to, who takes the reader through her struggles and her learning process with clarity and a humour that simply has to be read to be appreciated. It is rare that a book can convey such emotional depth… Yet still be screamingly, wet your pants funny. A true must-read, from start to finish. A very impressive debut, and i will be first in line for her next book.
I received your book on Friday and finished reading it on Tuesday. I have Parkinson’s disease, diagnosed at age 40 and 8 years in. I felt like I was reading a book about myself. It made me feel so normal! Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. It was cathartic for me. I can totally relate to crybaby. It does not take much to get my tear rolling. Kim
I was reading your book when I was waiting in the Intensitve Care Unit at the UH in London Ontario(my family member was going through open heart surgery), and I found myself smiling and snickering at your sense of humour, and wording thorughout your book that I found people giving me puzzled looks! You and your family are an inspiration to live life to the fullest no matter what is thrown in your direction!! I was compelled to “google” your name and find more out about you and to see your forever following creativity in your stories, and your art. I hope to continue to follow you and your blog, and your creative side!
Ps, “I ain’t no shave slave” (love it!!)
take care, you and your family. J.D.
I just read the article about you in the Globe & Mail and wanted to applaud your courage, strength, and humor. I’m inspired by your ability to articulate what you’re going through and to be so open about it with the world – My Dad was also diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s 16 years ago and recently completed radiation treatments for skin cancer. My Mom had a mastectomy for breast cancer 5 years ago and we have several other family members dealing with cancer and other illnesses…I sympathize with the health issues you are going through, plan to read your book, and hope myself to publish someday as you have.
Thank you for sharing!
Best wishes. Nicole
I just started your book, and I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. How did you get into my head? The beginning of your journey pretty closely mirrors my experience leading up to the diagnosis of my Parkinsons at age 46-and I must admit, tears won out when you got to disclosing your diagnosis to your daughter. That’s EXACTLY the reaction my two sons had, and they were right about the same age as she was. Thank you for this book, I can’t decide if I will gobble it right up, or savour it over time. I wish I had a fraction of your grace and humour! Therese
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Thank you so much for your book. I’m having my own medical meltdown, diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that has taken my life hostage through crippling severe and constant pain. I read the Globe interview and went to Indigo that day to buy your book. As my disability is completely invisible, I’ve often wished for it to be more visible, because I’m losing friends and credibility because I look fine on the outside – but under my skin everything is collapsing. (Maybe a giant tattoo on my forehead that says CRIPPLE. Just a thought) But I found through your book that it doesn’t matter – invisible or not, having your life stripped away is horrible and terrifying, and what I’m feeling, going through, is strangely normal. They’ve sent me to all sorts of psychiatrists and therapists (all able bodied and well meaning and fairly useless) but *you* actually helped me. I’m not unique in what I’m feeling or what I’m afraid of. Maybe because I’m also a creative type and a CBC radio refugee, I could relate to you. But I just wanted to say a big thanks for baring your soul and being so helpful. xo
Sorry to hear about your health issues. Sounds tough. Glad my book helped you out! Thanks for letting me know.
Most of Me
This book is an unexpected delight. How funny are depression, Parkinson’s, breast cancer, and mastectomy? In Robyn’s hands they are both hilarious and heart-breaking as she reveals her relationships with her family, her friends, and the missing, remaining, and emerging parts of herself. Robyn’s honesty, bravery, grace, humour, and insight make her story a page-turner. I couldn’t put it down and read it aloud to anyone who crossed my path. She’s a fine writer, it feels true to the core.