A Book Review of Hug Everyone You Know by Antoinette Truglio Martin

October 25, 2019
It's a beautiful time of year! The leaves are changing colors and the brisk chill in the air isn't so cold quite yet. I had the chance to read the most beautiful memoir and I can't wait to tell you about it. It's called Hug Everyone You Know by Antoinette Truglio Martin, part of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour (check out the launch day post here!).

First, a little bit about the book:

In 2007, Martin believed her call back doctor appointment was routine, maybe a scare, nothing worse. Her shock at receiving a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis was instantly compounded by her own deep fears. As a self-described wimp—afraid of needles and uncomfortable with sedation—how was she going to get through this?

Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words. She began by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”

Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of this memoir, which give the book an immediacy and raw power.

HUG EVERYONE YOU KNOW is a memoir about how Antoinette found the courage to navigate her first year of breast cancer treatment. It’s the story of how a community—colleagues, family, friends—rallied to support her. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny—and it speaks to us all.

What I Thought

What captured me immediately about this book is that Hug Everyone You Know is unlike almost any other memoir I've read. Antoinette really drew me into her experience of finding out the shock of the cancer diagnosis, having to tell her family and everyone else around her, and going through treatments. It was such a roller coaster of emotions while reading this book and I was so moved by the emails from her "everyone." On top of the moving experience of reading about Antoinette's journey, this book is also excellently written. 

So if you are looking for a new book to read this fall season, I highly HIGHLY recommend Hug Everyone You Know. 

Hug Everyone You Know is now available to purchase on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

About the Author

Antoinette Truglio Martin is a life-long Long Islander, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer—a memoir chronicling her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient. Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University in 2016. Antoinette had also written the children's picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman and Company), and was a regular columnist for local periodicals Parent Connections (In a Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Her blog, Stories Served Around The Table, tells family tales and life's musings. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, New York with her husband, Matt, and is never far from her “Everyone” and the beaches she loves. Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, she strives to not let cancer to dictate her life.

Follow her at Facebook and her website.


  1. This sounds phenomenal - lovely review!

  2. Lovely review the books sounds very heartfelt and beautifully honest.

  3. Lovely review. This sounds like a wonderfully moving, honest, read.

  4. What a great review. This is one to pull at the heartstrings

  5. Great review, I'm really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.


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