FEBRUARY LIGHT by Heather Trexler Remoff


A Love Letter to the Seasons During a Year of Cancer and Recovery
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 One woman's tender yet sober reflections on her victory over ovarian cancer highlight the parallels between life cycles and the seasons. Ever since her childhood, Remoff has sensed within herself a ``wild inner union with the natural world.'' Years later, this connection is rekindled when the author takes up permanent residence with her second husband in the tiny and exclusive resort village of Osprey Lakes in the Pennsylvania hills. The move sadly coincides with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Remoff gathers these experiences into a month-by-month chronicle of her disease and recovery, intricately woven reflections on the seasons, illness, death, and life in a small place. She celebrates the joys of simply being alive amid such natural beauty. A former competitive runner, Remoff perseveres through surgery and chemotherapy by dint of sheer stubbornness and competitive instinct (``Let the games begin. I'll do whatever it takes to beat this bastard cancer''). In addition, her love of family and friends and the companionship of her dog see her through emotionally trying times. Regular doses of running, herbal teas, despair, and hope shape her days. February Light's appeal lies in Remoff's honesty in describing and sharing the details of her disease, treatments, and emotions: She relates everything from dealing with doctors and medical staff to questioning prescribed treatment and following her own herbal remedies. A small part of the text is comprised of brief memoir sketches that seem unduly self-conscious in providing details that the reader intuits from the subtler writing of the present. Remoff's treatment of Osprey Lakes' local color and characters also lack the power of her ruminations on disease and nature. Of interest to cancer sufferers, their families and friends, and those open to the often tough-minded ``insights that have been cancer's gift.''

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-16839-X
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1997