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Book Review & Reader's Comments

“How can this be happening to me? Why me?” Bestselling ACROSS THE VOID, Through Cancer and into Life is a compelling and brutally honest account of one woman’s journey with breast cancer. Author Laurie Bonello is propelled into the abyss from which she shares her fears and bares her soul. Step by step, she takes her heart in her hands to walk “a journey that too many people must take.”

“I’m sorry to advise you that you have breast cancer,” reports the surgical oncologist. With these chilling words, Bonello embarks on a life-changing odyssey into the unknown. Chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, alternative approaches, good and bad advice, wellness, diet, exercise, spirituality, energy work, holistic healing ~ the shear weight and number of choices are staggering and navigating this minefield proves a formidable task. Time after time, she stumbles in the face of ongoing challenges but knows on a deep level that the choice of how she plays the hand is hers alone. “True healing began only when I started to take action, and small steps were all that were needed.” Relationships with friends, colleagues and loved ones are affected in profound and unexpected ways. Her search for answers brings the realization that none of it matters unless she can know who she really is. “If I were to die on the operating table the following week, would I have had a good life?”

Grief is real and Bonello’s voice rings true. Whether we are dealing with the loss of a loved one, the death of our hopes and dreams or facing our own mortality, she speaks to our humanity and innate need to make sense of the incomprehensible. ACROSS THE VOID is an emotional roller coaster ride into those dark, secret places where few of us are willing to go. For Bonello, it is a life threatening illness that catapults her into a new life. Writing with candor and clarity, she shares her doubts, hopes, tears and triumphs with a generosity of spirit that makes us wish we had just a little of her grace. Her willingness to dig away at painful emotional layers in pursuit of self-love, forgiveness and redemption is at the core of this extraordinary read.

Book review by Claire Scott, author of BUTTERFLY BLESSINGS and BUTTERFLY WISDOM. For more information on her books and presentations, please visit


Reader's Comments

“I have finished your book, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. There are so many things in that book that we don’t often think about. I’m sure many people will put this book down and change the way they do things as it goes to show that what we do (in everything we do), and who we are, most certainly affects our health and well-being. I have to congratulate you for pushing through this and having the bravery to write about your challenges. It tells others that you have such a passion in helping other people, and your experiences can and will help other people change for the better.”

“There is a mix of practical emotion blended with humour and pain - it is very easy to read and each chapter makes me want to read to the next one.”
“Compelling reading.”
“A book that will change the way you think about illness.”
“I couldn’t put it down. I learned so much.”
“You have a very special message and I am very grateful for that in my life.”
“I have just read your book and I couldn't put it down. You are not only an amazing writer but very inspirational. You have made me want to make better choices for myself.”  
“I am someone who doesn't recommend something unless I truly feel like there are valuable lessons to be learned. Laurie's book is full of lessons. She has had to face so many challenges with cancer and her outcome is simply beautiful. So if you or someone you know needs a boost in life, guide them towards Laurie's book. It is easy to read and filled with Love.” 
“I received the book on Tuesday and had finished reading by Wednesday. Lots of life lessons in there that do need a lot of thinking about and doing. Bless you for sharing!”
“I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know I got your book on Monday and read the whole thing Monday night! The writing was amazing and it did such a wonderful job of capturing everything such as your mental, emotional, and physical state (The Void) and how you continue to overcome negative thoughts.”
“OH MY GOD, your book is FANTASTIC, FABULOUS AND MOST OF ALL INSPIRING!!!! I couldn't put it down and had to know what happened next.
I am so impressed by your writing, your honesty and vulnerability and most of all your courage. Reading your book has inspired me to WANT to make better choices for myself. As I was reading I kept thinking of all the people who should read this book.” 


The cancer was invasive. Surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments throughout the first year were closely followed by a wide variety of other tests. We were trying to determine if the pain in my hip was bone cancer, and if the tumour on my liver was malignant or benign. Was my life going to be short or long? 

While trying to figure these things out, I had to return to work, to a job I found meaningless and from which I desperately wanted out. On top of that, physically I still felt rotten and I was very preoccupied with trying to make sense of the cancer experience, intellectually as well as emotionally.

I felt that, on one hand, because I had been on the receiving end of attention and care from the medical community and was still being carefully monitored, I should simply be able to resume life as usual. But on the other hand, that experience had changed me. My life had changed. I felt marooned in a deep and vacant place, and I couldn’t find my way out. 
I later learned that many others had found themselves in that same place, and that the place had a name: the void. Arriving there very often happens following a loss of some kind: health, financial, employment, significant other, to name just a few. After the initial crisis or trauma is past, those around you want life to return to “normal” as quickly as possible; for things to be as they’d always been before. But I found that I just couldn’t do that. My “normal” life was gone; had been stripped away.

My passage through the void was a lonely one. Others were there to help, but the actual travelling I had to do alone. After cancer, I felt that what had once defined my life was now shattered, and scattered about. My challenge was to find the pieces, evaluate their worth, and consciously select what would be useful toward creating a life that was meaningful. This is the story of my journey through cancer and across the void to a better life.

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