WISH I MIGHT by Isabel Smith


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An inspirational story of spiritual dimensions makes its effect as much by the unself-conscious gallantry of the author as by the travails she encountered. Indeed, in writing, she seems to have used the same techniques she employed when new visitors approached her in her sanatorium years- she simply shows how life looks and goes on from an enforced horizontal level. Struck by tuberculosis at twenty, when she was enjoying New York as a student nurse, Isabel shortly found herself under the care of Dr. Trudeau, son of the sanatorium founder, at Saranac. Wavering between recovery and collapse for twenty-one years, she underwent the three types of therapy for TB- rest cure, surgery, and finally with the results longed for over so many years, drugs. During this time she fought against self-absorption to be a part of the world, to value the beauty of the mountains and sky, to make friends among patients and outsiders. A photographic essay in Life by Alfred Eisenstaedt brought painful realization of how she looked to the world beyond but also brought letters from all over the world. The story of her romances is touching, and there is a warmth and verve here that overcome any dullness of style. Prefaced by the well loved Dr. Trudeau who went through the years with her, foreworded by friend Edward Streeter, this should have wide appeal.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1955
Publisher: Harper