The Girl with Nine Wigs by Sophie Van Der Stap

The Girl With Nine WigsGenre: Nonfiction, memoir

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Sophie is 21 when she is diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. A striking, fun-loving student, she finds her world reduced overnight to the sterile confines of a hospital. But within these walls Sophie discovers a whole new world of gossiping nurses and sexy doctors, and of hair loss and eyebrow pencils.

As Sophie faces the challenges of chemotherapy, wigs – now a crucial part of her life – become a powerful form of self-expression. Each of her nine wigs makes her feel stronger and gives her a distinct personality, and that is why each has its own name: Stella, Sue, Daisy, Blondie, Platina, Uma, Pam, Lydia and Bebé. There’s a bit of Sophie in all of them, and they reveal as much as they hide. Sophie is determined to be much more than a cancer patient.


So I’m gonna start off this review by saying I don’t like memoirs/biographies/autobiographies, they’re just not for me. I don’t like reading about someone else’s life regardless of if it’s a celebrity or just a normal person so I didn’t have very high hopes for this book. I figured it would be boring, a day-in-day out telling of a life with a girl who has cancer, that’s it.

After reading this book I have absolutely no faults with it which is very rare for me. I absolutely loved it! It was well-written and so inspirational. Although it is about cancer I thought it was interesting how she described how she was treated by other people, it was hard to read about that because I’m sure we’ve all seen someone with a bald head who is suffering from cancer and looked at them pityingly, it was hard to read about how this may affect someone who is on the receiving end.

The book takes places over about 18 months, it is in a diary format however it isn’t full of mindless rambling, it is straight to the point of what she did that day, the tests she received and how she felt about it. It was really interesting and I absolutely flew through it because I was right there with her whenever she had an upcoming scan I would rush through the pages feeling nervous for her.

I absolutely loved the idea with the wigs and how each one made her feel different, if she wanted to feel strong, sexy, confident then there are different wigs for each of those, she might decide that today she wants to wear Platina because she wants to stand out and doesn’t care who knows about her cancer.

Throughout this book everything that happens is real and I absolutely loved it, I loved reading about how some days she felt lively and like she could beat cancer and other days she just wanted to stay in bed. It felt like I was right there with her going through this treatment and I loved every second of this book.

It has certainly changed how I will see people who have cancer, not as sufferers but as inspirational people who may not feel every day like they are fighting through their disease but are just getting on with it. They are humble and just take what’s been thrown at them and will deal with it.

This book provides an inspiring story which will teach you how to embrace life and to treasure the time you have. It is not a sad story, it is a powerful one. I felt honoured to be reading it and to travel that journey with her. I would definitely recommend this book, I think if you’re like me and aren’t a big fan of nonfiction then I would definitely start with that book, it is an amazing story and I loved it!

Rating: 5/5

Summing up: An inspiring story


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