My TBR pile is sky-high, but I still can't resist perusing titles on NetGalley and when I saw Sophie Van Der Stap's memoir, The Girl with Nine Wigs, I had to read it. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing me with an advanced copy of Van Der Stap's novel, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT- Dutch college student, Sophie Van Der Stap, is only twenty-one when she is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Her life changes immediately, as she must set aside school and spend weeks living at the hospital, undergoing tests, chemotherapy and, radiation. Throughout her illness, Sophie struggles with her identity. She uses a variety of wigs to create different personas, these new characters are part Sophie and part an identity that she wants to exude. Do blondes have more fun? Are redheads a bit sassy? Sophie is battling her cancer, but she is able to use these new characters to embolden herself and even have some must needed fun.
LIKE- I dare you to read The Girl with Nine Wigs and not completely fall in love with Van Der Stap. She's a strong woman, not afraid to be honest in her writing and brave for telling her story. Plus, she comes across as such a fun-loving, life-loving person, that it is impossible to not root for her to overcome all of her challenges. Her attitude towards life, will make you reexamine your own outlook.
Van Der Stap's memoir doesn't just focus on her medical issues. It goes to deeper, as she explains, how it feels to have a possible death sentence, just as your life is starting. Van Der Stap longs to just be a normal college student and with her wigs, she is somewhat able to achieve it, if only for a night. One example, is a man that she flirts with and picks up at a nightclub, never telling him about her diagnoses. It's a fling for one night. This fling makes her feel nearly normal, although, when the night is finished, the entire situation is tainted with sadness. Van Der Stap must come to terms with the cancer forever changing her life, both in good and bad ways. This is a story about shifting and lost identities.
As much as I fell in love with Van Der Stap, I also came to feel care and concern towards the friends that she makes in the cancer ward. I was tense reading the last couple of chapters, waiting to find out what happens to these friends.
DISLIKE- Absolutely nothing. I couldn't put this memoir down.
RECOMMEND- Yes! Put The Girl with Nine Wigs on the top of your TBR pile. Van Der Stap has an incredibly compelling story to share, but she is also a strong writer, making this memoir a must-read.
Also, you have to look up Sophie Van Der Stap. I always like to see a picture of authors, especially if I'm reading a memoir. I had already falling in love with her on the page and, then I saw a picture. Van Der Stap is stunningly gorgeous. I was so blown away, that I had to immediately show my husband.