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6.20.2018

The Plasma ~ Review

The Plasma
By Kamal Malaker

James Wilberforce has achieved the American dream and is returning to the land of his birth - to a small island of the Caribbean. And so begins the journey that took James from his island roots to Boston and back again. A chance encounter sets James on a path that would define his American existence. Working for a company that supplies animals to researchers may not seem to be the ideal to some but for James, it became that.

Working his way up to eventually take over the company and marrying the love of his life James seemingly had everything. And he did until he was hit with a bout of the flu that just wouldn't totally go away. But all too soon James and his family are given an unexpected diagnosis - a rare form of bone marrow cancer has affected James. With few options before him, James is relieved when he is placed under the care of one of the foremost experts in bone marrow cancer.

Professor Hooper has developed a unique treatment for James's cancer but the hope that was offered soon starts to slip away. James condition continually takes peaks and dives as his treatment regimen takes him from home more frequently. The strain on both his family and his business gradually grows, eventually becoming too much.

The Plasma has an almost lyrical quality to it giving it the feel of a story being told by someone who wasn't raised within the confines of the United States. The book covers several decades highlighting keys moments of James's life. As his treatment progresses one wonders just what is going on - which is revealed at the end of the book. (Don't skip ahead!) The threads of intrigue that begin running together will leave one wondering around the midway point. This isn't a fast-paced book so would be good for a lazy afternoon or even a chapter before bed option. Overall it is interesting and makes one think twice about taking part in research medical treatments. Also to ponder how is value placed on a single life - who should determine its worth?

I was provided a review copy of this book by the author with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book:
James Wilberforce has finally achieved the American dream. Since immigrating to America from the West Indies as a young adult, he’s managed to build a successful business and family with his wife and three children. James knows he leads a blessed life, and he is eager to expand his achievements.

Then the unthinkable happens: James learns he has a rare form of bone-marrow cancer that has yet to be successfully treated and cured. The only expert attempting to research the disease is Professor Hooper, who’s conducting a study on experimental treatments.

Professor Hooper is James’s best hope of survival, and his research associate Dr. Mary-Ann Sanford assures James that he is in good hands while he’s participating. Although James’s symptoms improve at first, his condition later worsens. James desperately wants to believe in the cure, but even as Professor Hooper and Mary-Ann assure him it’s within reach, his deteriorating body may be evidence of a dangerous scheme at work.

As his trust in the experts begins to waver, he finds his control over his finances and the connection to his once-happy family both waning. James is facing the toughest battle of his life—and it’s not just cancer he’s fighting.