Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata
A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

...the story becomes optimistic as the family’s next generation agonizes over the decision to test for the gene mutation but finds hope through a risky, radical profiling procedure...The panic is palpable in Kolata’s moving depiction of a mysterious disease and its frightening consequences.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

"...a moving, suspenseful page-turner that's likely to become a classic of medical storytelling." —The Washington Post

New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata follows a family through genetic illness and one courageous daughter who decides her fate shall no longer be decided by a genetic flaw.

The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. “Are you ready Amanda?” The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested—at least, not now. But she had to find out.

If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it? Would you walk toward the problem, bravely accepting whatever answer came your way? Or would you avoid the potential bad news as long as possible?

In Mercies in Disguise, acclaimed New York Times science reporter and bestselling author Gina Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events that many saw as providential. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution—not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma—fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process.

A work of narrative nonfiction, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman—Amanda Baxley—who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.

 

About Gina Kolata

See more books from this Author
Gina Kolata is a senior writer at the New York Times, where she reports on science and medicine; a bestselling author; a frequent lecturer; and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. She has written several books, including Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss-and the Myths and Realities of Dieting (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which was a finalist for the Quill book awards, and the national bestseller Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Paul Hoffman is the host of the PBS television series Great Minds of Science and the president and CEO of Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, as well as the author of several books including King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game (Hyperion) and the international bestseller The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth (Hyperion). He was the editor in chief of Discover for 10 years as well as president and publisher of Encyclopedia Britannica, and is a puzzlemaster (under the pseudonym Dr. Crypton) and a class-A level chess player.
 
Published March 21, 2017 by St. Martin's Press. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Mercies in Disguise
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 24 2017

...the story becomes optimistic as the family’s next generation agonizes over the decision to test for the gene mutation but finds hope through a risky, radical profiling procedure...The panic is palpable in Kolata’s moving depiction of a mysterious disease and its frightening consequences.

Read Full Review of Mercies in Disguise: A Story ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Mercies in Disguise
97%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×