Deborah’s deep desire to learn more about her mother creates the book’s emotional core and drives the direction of Skloot’s storytelling. In contrast to the popular legacy of the HeLa cells—an object of scientific discovery disconnected from the life of Henrietta—Deborah illustrates the legacy of Henrietta as a person. When talking to journalists like the BBC documentarians, Deborah disrupts their scientific narrative with questions that focus on the very personal, ordinary details of Henrietta’s life, such as her favorite color. Deborah refuses to donate Henrietta’s Bible or lock of hair to a museum because they are the only tangible reminders of her mother. Deborah’s determination reveals that she is unwilling to allow others to once again reduce Henrietta to objects like the HeLa cells, removed from her personhood, experiences, and family. As Deborah teaches herself how to use the internet and learn more about cells and her mother’s condition, she never loses sight of the personal dimension. When circumstances force her to give up on going back to school, Deborah shifts her focus to the next Lacks generation, ensuring that they understand the value of their family history and the power of education.