Septuagenarian Henry is not long for this world, and his incongruous death-bed entourage features his third wife, Kate, 41 years his junior, and their tot, Darlan; his emotionally distant but ever-needy second wife, Cynthia; Nina, Henry's recently reconciled daughter from his first marriage; and bisexual Day, his caretaker and confidant. Shrewd and exuberant is Thurm's eyeful of modern marriage in all its madness, from a May-December passion that sparks in a ``Letting Go of Clutter'' adult-ed workshop to extramarital dallying with a former spouse. In a nuanced portrait, Henry emerges as womanizer and adoring husband, a father who is both doting and selfishly aloof, an unsinkable, ageless senior citizen besieged by a fatal disease. Fending off despair, Kate treats her beloved, waning Henry with dignity and tenderness, feeding him in a restaurant, interpreting his slurred speech to others, even attending him when he urinates. Almost against her will, her erotic feelings for Day and her friendship with Cynthia wax. The author of Walking Distance again faces down the ineffable with cheeky acuity and joie de vivre. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990 Release date: 02/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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