A curiously old-fashioned guide--helpful in understanding strokes, but scanty on the patient's needs and coy about discomfitting topics which require frankness. The explanation of how strokes happen and what they mean is clear, complete, and realistic: strokes are sudden, unexpected events that will always be followed by a long recovery period with some permanent changes. Also fully laid out are the possible long-range physical effects and their interrelation--the types and degrees of paralysis, and speech and comprehension problems--and, thereafter, the baffling personality changes that may occur. But when the authors start offering advice, and discussing the patient's emotional needs, the book becomes problematic. Men will have trouble, we hear, because they can no longer work; but women with strokes will be devastated because they can no longer keep their houses clean themselves. Women whose husbands have strokes will have to have a financial counselor because they won't be able to manage the family finances; they will be further upset (may even ask for a divorce) because their husbands don't give them the affection wives need. Some spouses of stroke victims, the authors write, eventually look elsewhere for companionship and/or sex; but the discussion of this problem and how to avoid it is dismally reticent. (A couple looked forward to having as ""romantic as possible an evening,"" and ""considering the adjustments which had to be made, everything went well until the end."" What adjustments? What happened? What can couples do?) Though the basic information is well presented, affected families will find John and Martha Sarno's Stroke: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, updated in 1969, more in-touch, more supportive, and more useful all around.