The Body's Memory

Jean Stewart, Author
Jean Stewart, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (276p) ISBN 978-0-312-02875-6
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
``No matter how bad things get, write everything down'' is the advice self-sufficient, vital 30-year-old Kate Meredith receives as she faces surgery for a recurring malignancy in her hip. The result is this spare, explicit, yet upbeat chronicle of the three years following the removal of a tumor and Kate's slow process of coming to terms with new limitations. Though Kate struggles to keep her job as a visiting university lecturer, she is fired. She puts great effort into walking with forearm crutches, but soon must resign herself to a wheelchair. Her self-pity, rage and despondency are tempered with a desperate hilarity, and she is buoyed by a large phalanx of loving and steadfast friends. Peter, who has two wooden legs because of a birth deformity, is particularly supportive. Ellen, a musician, is skilled at convalescent care but tries carefully to edge Kate into self-sufficiency. Kate's excruciating development from total passivity to a life of independence is the core of this first novel, with its deft, unblinking look at a hard and lonely private struggle. (June)
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