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review 2014-10-19 15:18
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir - Sarah Thebarge

This book, was just amazing. I read it in less than 3 hours because I was so into it. The story line just draws you in. 


This true story is about a very young woman, in her early twenties, who is diagnosed with breast cancer and isn't given a very long time to live. By a miracle, she survives and re thinks her life and where she is going with it. After the is cancer-free, she meets a young single mom, named Hadhi,  just came to the US from Africa, who has 5 daughters all under the age of 11. Hadhi was abandoned by her husband, and was struggling trying to raise her kids in a culture she did not understand. Sarah helps and teaches this family how to live and show them love. 



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review 2014-02-01 00:00
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir - Sarah Thebarge Having survived her battle with breast cancer Sarah Thebarge felt she needed a change in her life. Leaving behind her pre-cancer life she moves to Portland to start over. A chance encounter on a bus changes her life in more ways than she ever could have imagined.
Hadhi, a Somali refugee trying to raise her five daughters alone, in a country where everything is so unfamiliar she is not even aware of how to turn on her oven, happens to be on the same bus that fateful afternoon. Hadhi’s youngest daughter engages Sarah in a little game and Sarah inadvertently places the little girl’s toy in her pocket. Having exchanged telephone numbers Sarah feels compelled to return the toy to the young child. Thus begins an important friendship for both women.

This book is a very poignant memoir of two women fighting two different kinds of battles to survive what life has handed them. I found Sarah’s honestly about her fight with breast cancer moving and, the courage she had to help a family much less fortunate than herself was inspiring. Although I felt compassion for Hadhi and her situation (with much personal disappointment in myself) I found myself becoming almost angry with her at some points of the story because it seemed as if it was easier to put Sarah in the difficult situation of solving some of her problems for her rather than making an honest effort to try and manage on her own. It gave me much to ponder even after I closed the cover on the book.

A very personal insight into both overcoming breast cancer and the plight of refugees (women and children) I commend Ms. Thebarge strength, patience and commitment to making a difference.
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review 2013-10-04 00:00
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir - Sarah Thebarge I'm still trying to figure out what I thought about this book. I did like it but I wish it had tied together a little more. At times I felt like I was reading two separate memoirs. Usually I shy away from books that make a lot of references to God but I think it was powerful to read about Sarah's experiences. All in all, a good read but not one I will read again and again and again.
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review 2013-02-10 00:00
The Invisible Girls
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir - Sarah Thebarge Actual rating = 3.5Sarah's story really had an impact on me. At 29 years old, I am just over the age Sarah was when she found out she had breast cancer. I can't even imagine what that diagnosis would do to your life at a time when you're just coming into who you really are as an adult, and making decisions about your career and family life goals. Her descriptions of loneliness during treatments, and mourning for the body and life she will never have again were extremely moving and impactful. There were however parts of this book that I did find a bit confusing - she sometimes mentions things in passing that seem important but are never brought up again. Early on she says she's 'done many bad things', yet there is no evidence of this behaviour anywhere in the book. Or when she mentions that some fake loans were taken out under her name, she never mentions if she found out who stole her identity, or even mentions the situation again at all. This book also felt like memoirs sometimes can, where the author is concerned with writing with a particular structure to give the story more of an impact. There are 83(!) chapters in this 260 page book, each ending with a 'hook' sentence, which really felt unnecessary - the story speaks for itself, it doesn't need any added drama. Where The Invisible Girls succeeds is when Sarah brings you into her most intimate and personal experiences with the disease - the physical and emotional indignities she suffers throughout the course of her illness and recovery, and how her faith in God suffers as a result of constant disappointments, and the persistent need to know 'why me?'. When she shares her experiences with the Somalian girls, the issues of women and how they are treated as physical beings is brought into focus in a way I think will really connect with a lot of people in this generation. I almost never say (or think) this, but I actually believe this book could have actually been longer - it would have done well to go into more detail about Somali or immigrant culture in the US, so this book has more of an educational aspect with perhaps a bigger and more lasting reach. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and one I will recommend to others.
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