How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to Climb the Eiffel TowerHow to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

A moving, surprisingly humorous, sometimes snarky novel about life, friendship… and cancer

Lara Blaine believes that she can hide from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior. Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death. Accepting help from the people around her allows Lara to confront the past and discover that she is not alone in the world. With the support of her new friends, Lara gains the courage to love and embrace life. Like climbing the Eiffel Tower, the year Lara meets Jane is tough, painful, and totally worth it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first read the blurb for this book I had my reservations about it. I am a cancer survivor as well and I was really hoping that this book would not fluff up the experience. It doesn’t and on top of that, it is just a genuinely well written and entertaining book. I later read the author bio and saw that the author is a cancer survivor as well, so I really felt like although this was fiction, she wrote it from a place of personal knowledge and that made it even better.

The things that the main character goes through in this story are written with sincerity and realistic qualities that make you feel close to her and her situation. She struggles to understand why the things that have occurred in her life have happened and comes to new understanding about herself throughout the course of the story.

This book will make you laugh, make you cry in places but also make you realise that no matter what adversity there is in life, there is a way to overcome it. The strong female characters in this book do not come off as abrasive or intentionally feminist. They represent real women with real lives.

I was impressed by the pace and flow of this novel as well as the way the author chose to end her story. If you enjoy women’s fiction and like books that border the line between fiction and reality, this would be a good one to choose.


This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


4 thoughts on “How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

  1. Thank you for the lovely review, Ionia. It is particularly meaningful to me because you are a fellow cancer survivor. I was very mindful of portraying Lara’s illness without candy coating her anguish. I hope people connect with Lara and Jane and appreciate how Lara’s cancer journey transforms her life for the better.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s