The antique man, Abram Goldman, is not very old when he dies. Just 56. And even if the autopsy says his heart only weighted 450 grams, he was a ""man of extreme generosity and love""--certainly to his eldest daughter who records another death in the family. It's a long vigil--in and out of hospitals (leukemia) as the new drugs and the old ones fail, to the mortuary and the simple Jewish ceremonial to follow, and after while her mother wears her loneliness and uselessness on her sleeve like an armband. Even when her younger daughter gets married, ""Every day is like a funeral."" Merrill John Gerber has done one collection of short stories, Stop Here, My Friend- and while this is guessable autobiographical, it is still fallible in some ways as a novel. But it is genuine and real and very exposed and is handled with definite values of identification and involvement.