SUNSHOWER by Karen Kenyon


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One winter evening in 1978, after 15 years of marriage, Dick Kenyon committed suicide, leaving his wife Karen and a twelve-year-old son behind to go through the usual trauma and questioning. What emerges through a brief picture of their courtship and years of marriage is the image of an ostensibly stable and strong man, unwilling or unable to share his emotions--even after the birth and death, six months later, of a mongoloid daughter--and despairing at the lack of human concern in the University of California system where he served as a personnel analyst. But Kenyon is a poet and writer of the women's magazine stripe; so she's a lot more concerned with making ""sense"" of the loss (as in flowers and sunlight), than in probing very deeply into her emotions, or her husband's. At first she thinks his totally unexpected action--accompanied only by a brief suicide note indicating was no one's fault, he had simply ""run out"" of living--denotes anger, particularly against the ""system"" he bucked for so long; but eventually she comes to see it as a statement that what the world really needs is love, and then the systems will be all right. Brief consultations with therapists (for her and her son), the support of friends, and outside contacts (via a part-time university job--and some comfort, there, from Herbert Marcuse), all get her back on track; and eventually she settles down to an epilogue titled ""Happily Ever After Is Now."" Little grab (was she ever seriously off the track?), and lots of unanswered questions.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1981
ISBN: 059500234X
Publisher: Marek--dist. by Putnam