Monday, 5 October 2015

The Girl with Nine Wigs | | Book Review

The Girl with Nine Wigs
Sophie Van Der Stap

“I'm twenty-one. I'm supposed to be an adult, a grown-up who can take care of herself, but I'm scared shitless”

Imagine having life ahead of you full of hopes and dreams and then suddenly within the space of one day and a hospital diagnosis it's taken away. That's just what happens to Sophie in this thought provoking memoir. At the age of 21, being a young adult who enjoys dressing up, going to parties and dating to be told you have to undergo a year's worth of medication to shrink the size of your tumour.

Sophie writes her experiences in a diary allowing readers to see the ups and downs of her cancer diagnosis. Personal, truthful and absolutely hilarious at times, the way in which Sophie records her recovery process is astonishing. Normal teenage life has been taken away from her, well so she thinks, but her diary records her relationships with her best friends, her continuous support from her family and funny dating adventures and unfortunate teenage heartbreak. Sophie captures the awful experiences that come with cancer treatment but also lets other sufferers know that just because you've been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease you can still go out and have fun!

Turning her devastating illness into a fun loving adventure, she begins buying wigs. Wigs that develop their own persona, giving Sophie a different name and different personality with every wig change. There's Stella, Daisy, Sue, Blondie, Platina, Pam, Uma, Lydia and Bebe. Becoming a different person with each different wig appears to be a way for Sophie to cope with her illness and recovery, she creates a humorous atmosphere and makes it a very imaginative read. She directs her readers away from the real issue of cancer and describes the fun she has along the way.

Being young, all girls wants to do is wear make-up, wear pretty dresses, go out dancing with best friends and date boys, you'd think being diagnosed with a life threatening illness this would slow Sophie down. Wrong! Sophie travels, goes out for coffee dates with her friends, dances all night and has relationships! She puts on a wig and becomes a cancer free patient. Under the wig, she's under-going chemotherapy and radiation treatment but as soon as the wig sits on her head, she's free, she's a new person, she has a new look and a new life.

A journey of grief, pain and love. This book will make you laugh when you follow her trips to the health supermarkets to get supplements and vitamins “How does one pronounce quinoa?” and this book will make you cry.


A year in her life after diagnosis. Is the treatment successful?