HANGING ON by Hila Colman


Email this review


Hila Colman, well-known for teenage problem fiction, describes a personal tragedy: a long siege with the husband she loves who has been stricken with (and subsequently dies from) several paralytic strokes. Should she send him away to a nursing home? Can she make ends meet? More important, can she shunt aside 25 years of married life, and accept that life must continue for her, that it shouldn't consist of what might prove to be years of nursing an invalid? The answer, after much agonizing, is no, and she goes on to describe the financial and emotional struggles that result from her decision: the incompetent practical nurses she hires to maintain her peace of mind (and her time to earn the money to pay for them), the guilt she feels when she takes that time for herself, and the pathetic emotional effects of watching a loved one disintegrate before one's eyes. But ""Limey"" never appears for us. He remains a shadowy figure, in bed, immobile, incontinent, dysfunctional to the last except for his mind. One senses her relief when he finally dies, and that is understandable. More critical is the detachment one feels from all of them.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum