Grace Period

Gerald W. Haslam, Author . Univ. of Nevada $24.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-87417-679-7

Sacramento journalist and lapsed Catholic, Martin Martinez has seen his once fulfilling life flame out: his son has died of AIDS, his marriage is over, his daughter hates him and his siblings wrote him off after he let their mother die alone. Not to mention, he's diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after coming a matchstick's distance to self-immolation in his backyard. As urologists and oncologists prod Marty's tender parts and offer conflicting information about treatment, he marries the eminently patient and understanding cancer-survivor physician, Miranda. With her help, Marty accepts that cancer isn't a punishment from God but just a bunch of cells gone wild. He also reconciles with his family, looks again to the church for support and learns the difference between a "grace period" and a cure. Haslam's (Straight White Male ) portrait of the community Marty grew up in rings true, but his didactic prose makes this read like a primer on prostate cancer and a thin treatise on problems facing the Catholic Church, though some will find Marty's story—and his uneasy redemption—inspirational. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/05/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 306 pages - 978-0-87417-685-8
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