cover image My Foreign Cities: A Memoir

My Foreign Cities: A Memoir

Elizabeth Scarboro. Liveright, $24.95, (304p) ISBN 978-0-87140-338-4

Award-winning children's novelist Scarboro's first memoir encapsulates adult mature of illness and loss in the form of a coming of age love story written retrospectively The book examines the writer's first marriage to her high school sweetheart Stephen, who died in his early 30s due to complications from cystic fibrosis. Scarboro depicts the trials and tribulations of young love as an adventure, with her husband's illness as the backdrop. The book's firm focus on the young married couple gives the story a relentless power but also the slightest tunnel vision. Readers may find themselves wishing that the author had crafted deeper portraits of supporting characters such as the caring family and friends who surrounded her and Stephen. She does this poignantly when capturing the ways her elementary students handled their teacher's loss. As a portrait of the fierce power of love, and of one remarkable young man, and as chronicle of life in the face of certain death, this memorable book deserves many readers. (Apr.)