Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld! Catch up on Chapters 1-2, Chapters 3-4, Chapters 5-6, Chapters 7-8, Chapters 9-10, and Chapters 11-12, and Chapters 13-15, and Chapters 16-18! Read participant reactions and follow along with us each week as we read through the book. Caution, spoilers below!
Week 9: Chapters 19, 20, and 21
By Jennifer S.:
This chapter enamored me with Holly and Adam and their relationship all the more. Though I have no personal experience with Jewish traditions, it was touching to see their pregnancy journey reach its emotional peak at the bris. They have such a loving relationship, highlighted all the more by the compromises Holly mentioned. And Adam getting up an extra night to take care of Ezra, as well as his respect for the bakery workers, helps portray him as a great man. He has more integrity as a spouse and father than probably any other man in the book. The relationship between Holly and Adam is wholesome and refreshing compared to the drama between other couples. I’m really rooting for their little family.
It was gut-wrenching to see Holly’s peaceful life suddenly ripped apart by the accident. She’s so concerned over Becca that there was no thought in her mind it could be her husband in trouble. On the other hand, it was heartwarming to see Jordana and Holly come together for Adam’s sake, despite the tension in their past. Jordana using a line from her mindfulness class goes to show how she’s grown as a person. I was proud of Jordana for being so supportive and calm when she got to the scene of the accident. She didn’t let her natural Type-A tendencies take over, and was able to focus on Adam’s needs without being overbearing. I really felt for her when she drew the parallel between Adam’s crisis and being present for her hospital-bound best friend decades ago.
Dang, this chapter was an emotional ride. At first, I was hopeful for Becca and Nolan’s relationship after he seemed to shake off some of his self-centered jerk tendencies. Things turned sour during the prosthetic shopping, though, and alarm bells went off in my head. They seemed to go off in Becca’s too. Both Becca and I have doubts that this guy is worth the trouble. Becca’s early-morning ruminations that showed her lingering affection for her husband were a welcome respite from the chaos that the reader knows is about to unfold surrounding Adam. I still think Becca’s given Nolan too many chances. Seeing Holly, Jordana, and Becca chatter at the hospital gave me hope that their lives had already climaxed in terms of stress, and things would start to improve again. It felt like they were all cautiously hopeful too. After everything, I can’t imagine the burden Becca must have felt the instant she saw the surgeons and knew the tragedy about to unfold.
In our next blog post, look for the comments and discussion on chapters 22-23!
We will talk about a few chapters each Monday until the book is done. If Monday happens to be a holiday, then the post will publish on Tuesday. Once we finish the book, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. We’ll also have a video chat book club discussion at the end! Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers so read along with us! Excited about the young adult cancer book club? Have any suggestions for future reads? Let us know!