Lorna Richardson, a nurse of Jamaican origin, wrote The Cocktail: That is What Cured My Colon Cancer to share her inspiring story of mastery over the disease through prayer and a daily cup of tea made from a leaf and a piece of branch from the soursop tree.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Richardson was given the soursop remedy by her pastor. At first, she was taken aback by her pastor’s gift, as she had no familiarity with unconventional treatments for cancer. However, hope and curiosity led her to begin drinking the tea and researching medical literature on the soursop tree. Heartened by positive and encouraging hard science, she began to see the tree as a gift from God, which motivated her to share the pastor’s recipe with others who had cancer.
Per her doctor’s orders, Richardson was taking daily chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In addition, she was scheduled for surgery to remove a tumor and part of her colon. Although she turned down the surgery, an MRI taken after she’d been using the soursop remedy and praying for several weeks, showed no tumor.
As a factual account of Richardson’s miraculous cure, The Cocktail is a compelling story. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of the book is not about her battle with cancer. Richardson is a devout Christian and she uses the book to share her deep faith and strong desire to offer solace and religious guidance to others. Though she often refers to the soursop tree and its curative potential, there is a profound disconnect between the minimal information she provides about the remedy she used and the majority of the book’s content. The many prayers, song lyrics, conversations with God, lectures, and dozens of Scriptural verses and references tend to distract the reader rather than support The Cocktail’s thesis. The book ends with thirty pages of daily Bible verses that the author encourages readers to use, “During devotion or as a starting point for praising God.”
The ninety-page book sports an attractive cover with an image of a lone tree on a beach, but the tree is not a soursop and the relevance of the beach imagery is unclear. The type on the front cover is difficult to read due to its color and placement over the image, and the subtitle is confusing and uses questionable grammar. Furthermore, there are several typographical errors on the back cover.
Despite its imperfections, The Cocktail could be an enjoyable reading experience for those seeking a Christian-oriented book that supports nontraditional healing methods. It may do well in Christian bookstores. And people of Jamaican heritage might also enjoy the author’s many references to Jamaica.