’I really believe every challenge in your life is about making you better than who you were before… making you more empathetic, making you kinder, making you wiser.’
Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia by her grandmother, only to then flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls still at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began.
The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. Motherhood, marriage, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, grief, jealousy, anger, comfort, pain, disease – this is a book about life itself. Growing out of a blog Julie kept for four years, it tells of a life lived well, and cut too short. With glorious humour, beautiful and bracing honesty and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie has set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.
This is not just a book about cancer. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It’s about truth and honesty, fear and pain, our dreams, our jealousies and our anger. And it’s about how to say goodbye to your children and a life you love. Starting as a need to understand the disease, it has evolved into a powerful book about living – even as Julie puts her affairs in order and prepares to die.