Book Review: No One Wrote a Manual

by Bob May, book reviewer and syndicated writer for business journals and various lifestyle magazines

Breast Cancer Recovery - No One Wrote a Manual is a collection of essays and artwork chronicling the tumultuous impact of breast cancer. With vivid candor and self-effacing humor, Fran Padgett’s private thoughts, jumbled emotions and intimate conversations spilled over and onto her paper and canvas. Padgett tells her stories with unflinching honesty that somehow comforts and inspires as she says goodbye to her body as she knew it and expectantly greets the next sunrise.

No One Wrote a Manual binds two years -- from breast cancer diagnosis through treatment, reconstruction and recovery -- together with paintings from Padgett’s Sunrise to Sunrise series and her Moving On series of original works of art. The artwork in Sunrise to Sunrise eloquently articulates the introspection demanded by her breast cancer diagnosis. Faced with the realization that her body would never be the same simultaneously required accepting that from that moment on, her life would never be the same.

The Moving On series is equally self-revealing. Begun after her successful treatment and reconstruction, each painting reflects the resurgence of Padgett’s charming femininity, irrefutable free spirit and artistic approach to the world at large and to life unconfined.

Padgett is unpredictably lively, funny and feisty. She doesn’t sugar coat the anguish, fear, rage or disappointment. She shares her courage and her hope through art and anecdotes.

This is the coffee table book you can take to the bubble bath…and the gift book you can share with your best friend.