12 February, 2019

#BookReview :: Second Go by Radhika Sachdev

Penned in real time, from the hospital bed while battling for life, on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone’s 4x2 inch keypad, the only device allowed to the patient in her super-sanitized recuperating room, this book follows a hybrid format of medico-psycho thriller, interspersed with SMS chats, transcripts of medical records and other workings of an addled mind overcome by sickness, yet determined to pull through.
It is a first-hand account of a liver transplant recipient’s journey in India, chronicled from the patient’s perspective in vivid detail as a series of dramatic events unfold in her life, completing the cycle from sickness to health, despair to hope.
It also tells the story of a single mom and breadwinner of the family, her strong bonding with her adoptive daughter and her family and friends’ support.
The author hopes that this book will give courage and direction to other patients whose lives are hanging by a thread, patients awaiting a life-saving cadaveric organ donation.

This is a non-fiction book that chronicles the experience of the author as a liver transplant recipient in India.

The book starts from the time when the author started looking for possible liver donors and then goes back and forth a bit. The author has documented her journey quite thoroughly and as such anyone who is curious about what it takes to get a transplant surgery in India may find this book to be informative. There are chapters in the end that deal with the required diet for a liver transplant recipient and the cost of the whole process. There’s even a separate chapter outlining the organ transplantation rules and regulations in India and a list of Trusts that provide financial help for the medical costs. I think these annexure of the book is most informative.  

The author has also given the book a personal touch with details about her family and her work. I especially enjoyed reading the chapter about Aarzoo and the connection the mother and daughter duo has built over the years.  The photos included in the book helped me make a connection with the author’s journey and the people involved in her life. The fact that the author continued to work and furthered her professional life through the tumultuous period was really inspiring. It would have been so easy (and some would even say prudent) to have put her professional life on hold to focus on her health. Instead, she is a real life proof of how strong women can be. She delegated where she could, but attended to her responsibilities like a pro. Her ability to multi-task and balance her personal relationship, professional life and her health is something everyone will admire.

However, even for non-fiction, the narrative and the flow of the book felt fragmented. As a result, the book did not have as much of an impact as it could have. 

Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing

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