Hearing the “cancer” verdict often throws a patient in an emotional roller coaster ride. Paulatte Mahurin took the story of two friends as basis for her novel His Name Was Ben. Sara Phillips was diagnosed for having breast cancer. A short life expectancy, maybe relief from experimental drugs. At her oncologist’s she notices a fellow cancer patient, of whom she only captures his name: Ben. How do you contact a total stranger, who you think is gorgeous. Will he embarrass you? Take your removed breasts for granted? Will he be in for a deep relationship?
Finally connected an interesting process of getting to know each other beyond the health indicator promiscuity is described from alternating perspectives. Both Ben and Sara have their say and limits in opening up for each other. Soulful and compassionate, love against all odds. Think of Ben’s alcoholic parents, Sara’s bullying mother, a schizophrenic brother, and the unhappy ended marriage with Henry. Honesty and realism on the chances of remittance and nearing death.
Love gives a reason to live every minute and enjoy relationships, overcome problems and face reality. Even more than The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, I liked the writing style, readability, conversations, and colour of the characters.
About the author
While in college, she won awards and was published for her short-story writing. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into the fictionalized novel in 2014. The first week out, His Name Was Ben, made it to top ten books sold in the Amazon Kindle store (topic: health/wellness/cancer). Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine.
Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminister Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs.