portrait of Henrietta Lacks with lines building on her image to a grid of connected dots

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot
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In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, how does her son Lawrence feel about his father today?

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The text makes no mention of what Lawrence Lacks thinks of his father today. It is clear, however, that when he was alive, he was very highly regarded and loved by his son. Note the way that when Day Lacks died, he was surrounded "by all of his family." Likewise, when Lawrence found out that his mother's cells were still alive and being used, one of the first things he did was to call his father and to tell him this news:

Lawrence called his father to tell him what Bobbette had heard, and Day didn't know what to think.

The text does not point towards any emnity or problems in the relationship between Lawrence and his father, and indeed more attention is placed on how Lawrence feels about his mother than his father. Lawrence, in his adult life, seems to avoid the problems and issues such as crime and drugs that his other brothers fall into, and therefore has clearly turned out better than them in some ways. However, by the end of the book, Skloot reports that he, along with another of his brothers, still feels very strongly that they should have a share of the profits that have been gained through the sale and use of HeLa cells. The book focuses far more on the character of Henrietta Lacks herself, and her relations with her family. Day Lacks, her husband, is something of a minor character in the book compared to Henrietta.

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