In the recently published memoir “Flat: Reclaiming My Body From Breast Cancer,” Catherine Guthrie tells the story of grievous medical mistakes that she managed to record without sugarcoating their consequences or flailing against the injustice of it all.

As “Flat” explains, all of the doctors Ms. Guthrie met assumed that she would want breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. “Most women want to look normal in clothes,” the doctor informed her.