For readers who like their books to dig deeper and linger in the heart and mind.
“The real The Fault in Our Stars.” Auckland libraries
Harriet Rowland — known as Hat — was 17 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that began in her knee. At the time she was a student at Queen Margaret College in Wellington, New Zealand.
Going through treatment was often a lonely time, as friends — while supportive — didn’t always understand Hat’s new life. This was until she fell in love with the character Hazel Grace from John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars, a girl who talks honestly and openly about living with cancer. Like her, Hat found life changed in ways that were both good and bad: falling in love and hospital stays among them. And she was surprised by how much happiness there was still to find.
Throughout her journey, Hat kept a blog called My Experience of Walking the Dog, and this book, first published in 2014 by Mākaro Press, is a collection of those posts edited with the author. Why the blog title? Her parents say cancer is like a dog — fine if it stays in its own yard. Hat’s dog got out. This is her unexpected story.
This way I will NEVER have to get a job, learn how to cook more than two-minute noodles or do anything mildly productive. I never have to grow up and I can forever be a kid! Though my ‘forever’ is shorter than most, I don’t mind. What I do mind is that I am going to have to leave everyone I love behind. Harriet
“Her writing is funny and truthful and wise, exactly like the Harriet we got to meet when she visited the set last year.” Peter Jackson, filmmaker