Songs from a Lead-Lined Room is a unique and remarkable book rooted in truth and raw experience, and the first memoir to focus on the personal experience of radiation treatment. As with Shea’s best-selling fiction, her sharp and insightful wit and her reporter’s eye for the most telling and sometimes quirky details inform every page. She shares what she learns about the process of her treatment, her bouts of despair, indignity, and fear, as well as the faux pas, the innocent blunders, and the compassion and caring of her family, friends, and fellow patients.
“This is one of those books that changes your life forever. I am deeply grateful that I got a chance to read it, and I will recommend it to everyone I know.” -Anita Shreve, author of The Last Time They Met and Fortune’s Rocks: A Novel
“Her struggle with the realities of breast cancer-and its treatment-is a story of fear, courage, loneliness, and redemption. It is one of the most moving and important books ever written about the extraordinary pressures the disease places not only on the victim, but on family and friends as well.” -Michael Carlton, Yankee Magazine
“Songs from a Lead-Lined Room contains passages of unaffected loveliness, in particular Shea’s reflections on her working-class hometown in central Massachusetts, a setting cozily familiar from her novels.” -Amanda Heller, The Boston Sunday Globe
“When bad things happened to a talented, insightful, witty reporter and virtuoso novelist, her notes delivered a brilliant silver lining. I’m not the same person I was before reading Songs from a Lead-Lined Room, Suzanne Strempek Shea’s brave, honest, enthralling, darkly funny story. I couldn’t put it down, and I’ll never forget its lessons about friendship and good intentions gone awry. I’ve loved many books, but never before have I come away with the conviction that I’ve just read the one that’s been missing from the world.” -Elinor Lipman, author of The Inn at Lake Devine and The Dearly Departed