Rearranged | Critical Book Review

Kathleen Watt’s Rearranged takes readers on a poignant journey, exposing the transformative twists of life entangled with cancer. The memoir, previously lauded by Kristine Eckart, unfurls a narrative that transcends the mundane and explores the profound impact of a rare and ruthless malignant force.


The Opera House Unveiled: A Prelude to Turmoil

Watt, once immersed in the glamorous world behind the curtains of the Metropolitan Opera, leads us through the cutthroat competition, backstage intricacies, and the opulent productions of the iconic New York City Opera House. However, the narrative takes an unexpected turn when a seemingly innocuous bump on Watt’s gumline unravels a life-altering revelation: cancer.


Dancing with Fate: The Diagnosis

With her dream of joining the Extra Chorus finally realized, Kathleen anticipates a celebratory ski vacation with her partner, Evie. Yet, the ominous discovery of a malignant tumor behind her cheekbone thrusts them into a disconcerting dance with fate. Watt’s candid exploration of her reaction to the diagnosis reflects the pervasive fear and uncertainty that accompany such news.


Surgical Symphony: Navigating the Abyss

Watt’s narrative doesn’t shy away from the harrowing details of her medical odyssey. A cascade of surgeries, infections, and reconstructive procedures ensues, all meticulously chronicled. The author’s comparisons between her preparations for opera performances and medical procedures lend an artistic touch to the raw reality of her battle against cancer.


The Night of the Snapping Gloves: A Darkly Humorous Interlude

Watt infuses her memoir with moments of dark humor, showcasing the absurdity and absurd reactions to the challenges she faces. From her extreme response to a nurse donning gloves to the metaphorical dance with life and death, these instances provide a unique perspective on navigating the turbulent waters of chronic illness.


Aria of Resilience: Finding the Lost Voice

While the initial surgeries and fear of the medical unknown set the stage, Watt’s poignant reflection on rediscovering herself forms the hauntingly beautiful aria that echoes long after the final act. Her meticulous recordings, symbolic of her quest to reclaim her lost voice, highlight the intricate journey of rebuilding not only her singing prowess but also her identity in a world that has moved on.


Between Life and Death: The Rarified Privilege

Rearranged is more than a memoir; it is a bel canto composition of lyrical language, tracing the crescendo and decrescendo of cancer. Kathleen Watt’s universal quest for her voice amid the tumultuous waves of illness resonates as a testament to the formidable challenge of rebuilding life after enduring such trauma.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Heliotrope BooksNonfiction / Memoir384 pages9781956474343

Kathleen Watt’s Rearranged takes readers on a poignant journey, exposing the transformative twists of life entangled with cancer. The memoir, previously lauded by Kristine Eckart, unfurls a narrative that transcends the mundane and explores the profound impact of a rare and ruthless malignant force. The Opera House Unveiled: A Prelude to Turmoil Watt, once immersed…