Tag: Reviews

Another Beautiful Review

Another Beautiful Review

Book Review of The Light in the Darkness: Musings on Living with Cancer

An 11-year itch was all it took to permanently alter Jo St. Leon’s life. After years of being dismissed as a hypochondriac, she was forced to change doctors in order to finally find someone who would listen. Her questions revealed a devastating truth: She had a hard-to-diagnose, rare blood cancer and a life expectancy of only four years.

Armed with answers, she strove to find peace with her diagnosis while struggling with the depression, anxiety, and alienation that accompanied it. She examined her plight, imprisoned in a state of mental solitude, until she discovered the therapeutic benefits of writing down her experiences and emotions. Sharing this uncensored expression of her true self with the world empowered her to see the love and acceptance of her friends, a revelation that changed her entire perspective.

With a newly bestowed sense of inner peace, Jo St. Leon continued writing. In this book, she shares her wisdom from lessons learned, her advice in moving forward, and her endless encouragement to eschew self-hatred and blame and to embrace life, love, and joy. Her journey is one of both devastation and resilience, of finding a Light in the Darkness.
Jo St. Leon looks back on her journey with an uplifting spirit of positivity, highlighting the moments in which her heart was buoyed by the kindness and warmth of others. This book is like an evening stroll through the neighborhood of her life, where she pauses to introduce doctors and friends she’s known for years, those critical individuals who eagerly step forward to share their knowledge and experiences through yoga, magnetic healing, or a listening ear.

The Light in the Darkness is a touching tribute to the emotional trauma shared by many and understood by few. Now, a year beyond her predicted death, a breathing medical miracle, she shares the story of her illness, her encounters, and her newfound joy in life. She offers up her insight in the hopes that others won’t feel so lonely as they navigate the pain and fear of their own diagnosis. – Review by Book Excellence (bookexcellence.com)

A beautiful review

A beautiful review

So many thanks to Peter Donnelly for this beautiful review! 🙏🙏🙏

Book Launch: The Light in the Darkness: Musings on Living with Cancer by Jo St Leon
Smolt Kitchen, Hill St, West Hobart
1 November 2021

The Tasmanian community has known Jo St Leon for some 15 years as a distinguished viola player performing with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and previously as a member of the Elanee Ensemble and the Diemen Quartet. Jo has also taught at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. Recently, she has been developing her skills as a writer. This book is the product of life reassessments Jo has made in the wake of recent serious illness.

A diagnosis of the rare blood cancer Sézary syndrome in 2016 altered Jo’s life forever. She used the period of her treatment and recovery to develop and refine her creative writing skills. It became a means of working through the life changes and priorities brought about from having cancer.

To her surprise, the initial essay – The Diagnosis – won a major literary prize and encouraged her to proceed with a collection of reflections on living with this condition. The occasion of the book’s launch was a happy and congenial one wittily introduced by fellow musician and violist Will Newbery. Friends, fellow musicians and cancer support folk were among the guests.

The book itself is designed to be an aid to anyone dealing with the life challenges occasioned by experiencing serious health issues. Jo’s writing is totally honest and engaging. Acknowledging her initial numbness, her fears and dark moments through to her courageous confrontation and acceptance of life’s new realities, Jo’s humour, inner strength and love of life permeate these pages. This is a wonderful read and should not be missed by anyone seeking insight into sorting out the important things in life!

Peter Donnelly