Dying Young

Marti Leimbach, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-385-26724-3
The premise of this first novel is initially provocative: Victor, a rich young man, intelligent and talented, chooses to end his treatment for leukemia and spend his remaining months with Hilary, the young woman hired to take care of him. Having fallen in love, the pair moves from Boston to the seaside community of Hull, ``a discreet place to die,'' where Hilary becomes powerfully attracted to Gordon, a divorced entrepreneur. Torn by longing for a ``normal'' relationship with Gordon and guilt over betraying Victor, Hilary gradually confronts her chronic insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. Although this slim story begins with grace and assurance, the narrative soon becomes tiresome as the three chief characters take on the whiny, self-absorbed behavior of adolescents. We never understand why the rabbity heroine is so appealing to two men; Gordon callously threatens to tell his dying rival (and new friend) about his own affair with Hilary. Even Victor, supposedly determined to bow out of life with courage, is surly and arrogant; he says he has chosen to commit suicide because fighting his disease is ``boring.'' While Leimbach shows promise, her first effort is a disappointment. First serial to Cosmopolitan; film rights to Fogwood/20th Century Fox . (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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