Carrie Host
Carrie Host
Carrie Host, Writer / Author

The Bookworm Blog

"I applaud Carrie for having the courage to write so openly and honestly about her disease. Reading this book has changed my life in a profoud way. It has made me more patient and loving with my children and more thankful of my husband. While Host’s book at first is a heavy read, as you turn more pages you start to see the positive impact this devastation has on her family, her friends and her own consciousness. Overall I found this book very easy to read, though I had to put it down at times to wipe the tears away. I would definitely keep a tissue handy."

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Denna Gibbons
The Bookworm Blog

CURE Magazine:

"I was swept along with her images as she expresses the pain, relief, grief, joy, and hysteria of the experience. I held my breath with her when, after the doctor said it was the worst case he had ever seen, she was once again sucked under the water. I am with her as she lands in the middle of the river on an island of fear and loneliness, and cheer when she is rescued by the friends, doctors, nurses, and a mother’s compelling love for her children."

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Kathy Latour
CURE Magazine


"While some authors face their situation with an arsenal of rage and dark, pointed humor—see Katherine Russell Rich's The Red Devil (1999)—debut author Host writes about her illness with the nuanced grace of a poet whose perspective extends beyond her own experience, including the anguish of watching her family navigate immense upheaval as she struggles to overcome the ravages of carcinoid cancer. The author weaves creative metaphor into her harsh reality, striking a balance between hardship and revelation. The chapters—e.g., 'Fear,' 'Drought,' 'Letting Go'—chronicle the phases of the process, carrying readers through reflections on the past, worries about the future and turmoil of the present while revealing an impressive generosity of spirit and surprisingly minimal anger. In 'Forgiveness,' the author equates that sentiment with 'finding the right lid for a jar. It is not complicated, but it is satisfying.' Host affirms the importance of nurturing relationships—with kids, siblings, parents and friends—and the gifts to be found in letting others take over. In a narrative that is anchored by humility and gentle counsel, the author mines nuggets of hope and rapture from wrenching circumstances, only occasionally falling victim to purple prose."

"A tender and pragmatic immersion into the bewildering depths of a terrifying illness."

Indie Next Pick:

"Carrie Host has written a truly open and honest account of her struggle with carcinoid tumors and how it changed her perspective on life and her relationships with others. Between Me and the River is a beautiful appreciation of life's subtle nuances, the value of each and every day with our family and friends as a gift, and the memories of the past that give us the foundation of our true selves."

Carrie Cilley
Kaleidoscope Books, Cards & Gifts, Upton, MA

"Every man on this planet, even men from Mars would do well to procure a copy of 'Between Me and the River.'
Man to man: You will never see a woman the same way after you've read Carrie's story, or as you did before you had read it."

Tom Bock

Publishers Weekly:

"On Halloween in 2003, Host was given terrifying news: she had carcinoid tumor, a rare and deadly form of cancer . The wife and mother of three children (then ages 10 months, 11 and 13), who is now in remission, was given a prognosis of 18 to 36 months. In this heartfelt narrative, Host attempts to simultaneously fight the disease and find peace with the possibility of death while remaining strong and hopeful. The author describes the moments of comfort and joy she receives from those around her, but she doesn't flinch from the realities of life-threatening illness. Regarding one particularly harrowing hospital stay, she recalls, 'I thought I had already earned my doctorate in pain, but it turns out I was wrong.' She finds humor among the indignities cancer patients must endure, writing, for example, 'I should have known that, as a mother of three, the only possible way to get 12 uninterrupted hours of sleep would be surgery.' Host's honest depiction of her personal experiences also captures the universal aspects of cancer. In one of the book's entries, dated nearly two years after her initial diagnosis, Host recounts a conversation with a stranger, a fellow train passenger: 'We have that instant connection that you make with someone who has suffered the loss that cancer can bring.'"

Library Journal:

"Host spent more than a year trying to figure out the source of pain that began during her third pregnancy, but no one in her Boulder, CO, medical community seemed on a track that made sense to her. Scans, X-rays, blood tests, and trips to Minnesota's famed Mayo Clinic finally brought it all into focus: cancer. Host's slow-growing yet rare and generally lethal carcinoid tumors were treated via a lengthy surgery. She describes her ordeal as being in a boat caught up in a rushing river, constantly being tossed about and pulled under. A writer by trade, Host continues her river metaphor throughout and as such brings her trial to readers' consciousness and recognition. With her youngest child now five, Host is still at the oar, still working vigilantly to stay afloat. A beautifully written memoir for all audiences. (Host will be featured in a panel of first-time authors at the 2009 American Library Association conference in Chicago.)"

Bette-Lee Fox
Library Journal

". . . this is no mere 'cancer book.' The author, while sparing none of the difficult and horrifying details, tells her story with dignity and humor and gives credit where it is due: her husband and teenage children are her anchor and her siblings, doctors, and friends steer the boat when the river, which is the metaphor that holds this memoir together, threatens to drown her."

"It is sometimes difficult to read a story like this that hits close to home for any of us who have fought cancer or lived with someone who has, but Host's sure voice and careful explanations allow us onto the boat with her, sure that, in the end, whatever that end might be, we will be better for the trip."

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Robin Smith

"'Between Me and the River' is an accessible, honest book that skillfully drops the reader into the author's dire situation. Those who love diving into deeply personal memoir will enjoy it, and her honesty will resonate for those facing a similar illness."

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Clay Evans
for the Daily Camera

"For any person dealing with cancer, this warm, witty and wise book is both a practical guide for developing self empowerment in making choices and decisions in their cancer care as well as offering the potential for transforming a very bad, senseless, and fearful diagnosis into a meaningful existential journey of one's soul."

Alan Tralins M.D.
Board Certified Radiation oncologist
Director, Bardmoor Cancer Center
Affiliate of the University of South Florida College of Medicine
—Moffit Cancer Center

"Everyone affected by cancer should read this book to understand, to heal, and to find hope, support, laughter and courage."

Nancy Lindholm
President Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

"This book is dynamite! It's engrossing, riveting, and informative. I could not put it down and, at moments, it took my breath away."

Joan Wilson White
MFA., Dartmouth College

"A powerful, thought-provoking book that never leaves you."

Clive Cussler, Author

"Between Me and the River profoundly impacted me both as a reader and more importantly as a physician."

Dr. Max B. Mitchell
MD Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

"I started to cry the second I started reading your words, not because I felt sad, but because I felt understood. Thank you for your beautiful work. And the quotes, I am blown away by what you put together. I adore you already."

Lori Benson
"Dear Talulah"

More Reviews . . .

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