One Particular Harbor: The Inspiring True Adventures of One Woman with Multiple Sclerosis...

Janet Lee James, Author
Janet Lee James, Author Noble Press Inc $13.95 (250p) ISBN 978-1-879360-30-3
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-595-00115-6
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First-time author James offers the story of her life, a life spent struggling with multiple sclerosis, in clear and startling detail. Fresh out of college, she enjoys a plush existence as a copywriter for an ad agency until she begins to feel, among other things, a numbness in her leg. After ignoring the symptoms as long as possible, James undergoes a battery of tests, which she describes in unflinching and often painful terms, and this leads to her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis or MS--an incurable degenerative nerve disease. A course of steroids sends James into remission and back to her life, where she pretends nothing has happened. Even though the statistical odds that she will end up in a wheelchair are slim, they are enough to convince her to live life to the fullest from that point on. James moves to Alaska, a place she's always dreamed about, where she serves stints as a DJ, a waitress and a cook while running sled dogs, climbing glaciers, living in one room cabins with no electric or running water, sailing schooners, dating lots of men and hanging out in bars. But within a few years, the pattern of attacks and remissions that occur annually are not as easily assuaged by steroids and so begins a steady decline. In the end she must return to her parents' home where she reminds herself ``that not a minute of my time had been wasted. '' Disingenuous comments like these detract from a powerful story which tends to be more compelling than the writing. (Mar.)
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