“Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain” (Simon & Schuster, $23), by Natalie Cole, with David Ritz: Natalie Cole has been through it all. After her father, jazz legend Nat “King” Cole, died, she dove hard into drugs. Then she found music, built a solid career and wrote a memoir, “Angel on My Shoulder,” in 2000.
Cole had lived a lifetime by then. But she was in for a shock when she was diagnosed in 2008 with hepatitis C, a liver disease spread through contact with infected blood.
She said at the time the disease was revealed during a routine examination and was likely caused by her drug use years earlier.
Her new book, “Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain,” tells of a two-year struggle with blood transfusions, her subsequent need for a kidney transplant, the death of her beloved sister Carole Cole in 2009, and her friendship with Patty Argueta, whose sister died around the same time.
“The blues have a life of their own,” Cole said after her sister’s death. “They don’t want to go away. They want to linger and last. They want to keep you in isolation.”
“Love Brought Me Back” is told from two points of view _ those of Cole and Argueta _ that are flawlessly interwoven. Both voices are prominent, and both Cole and Argueta get the chance to tell their stories.
Cole gets preachy in parts, but that doesn’t overshadow the heart-wrenching saga.
This tale of second chances is one to be cherished.
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