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I felt like Noah in the new world after the flood. Every continent in my life had been rearranged."" But her spiritual moorings were firmly anchored, enabling Laurel Lee to persevere. This poignant journal, an affecting sequel to Walking Through the Fire (1977), opens with Laurel, in remission (Hodgkin's disease) and on welfare, struggling to raise three children alone. As in the earlier book, the situation is harsh but her outlook is sunny. Despite parental slights (her mother told her ""a lot of people in the family have had cancer, but I was the first one to be divorced"") and token support from her ex-husband, she copes without much grumbling; in their barely furnished two rooms, one child sleeps on a closet shelf. Publication of her book, however, brings sudden celebrity and a temporary prosperity (of her New York agent and editor: ""I had stumbled into a society of amiable restaurant dwellers""). And remarkable Martin, an oncology resident met at church, nestles right into the warm family scene. Then, once again, her life is seriously clouded: the Hodgkin's disease recurs, wiping out her financial security, and Martin bows out gently, unwilling to take on a vulnerable woman and three kids. Guileless and unembittered, Laurel maintains her equanimity through religious faith and a wry sense of humor. And when, after extensive treatments, she is again declared cancer-free, one can only marvel at her self-possession. An admirable return performance.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 1980
Publisher: Dutton