Walking Distance

Marian Thurm, Author Random House (NY) $16.95 (279p) ISBN 978-0-394-55147-0
This is a sad and lovely book whose motif of death and dying is lightened not only by the protagonist Laura's eagerness for life, but by the witty pragmatism of her grandmother Sophie, who at 85 is trying to decide whether having a man in her bed at night is worth putting up with him during the day. It is a tribute to the author's skill that Sophie's dilemma in no way robs Laura's problem of its poignancy. Her difficulties begin when she smiles one day at a manwho for several weeks has been sitting outside a neighboring apartment buildingwhen she returns home from taking her daughter to nursery school. ""I'm dying,'' he tells her. And so, slowly, almost imperceptibly, Laura, who has been in love with her husband since high school, finds her sympathy, her heart, eventually her body, captured by a still-practicing psychologist, only 10 years older than she, who, in a few months, will be dead of cancer. These, then are the themes upon which infinite variations are played, and because Laura, gifted and funny and learning to be wise, merits the love the two men bestow upon her, theme and variation are continually absorbingso absorbing, in fact, that Laura's anguish becomes the reader's. (April 13)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Paperback - 28 pages - 978-0-14-010756-2
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