TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE ALIVE by Paul Linke

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE ALIVE

A Love Story
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Veteran actor Linke, best-known for the TV series CHiPS, has turned his recent one-man show and HBO drama into a poignant story of love, death, and life that goes on. Linke and his first wife, Francesca, though products of the iconoclastic 60's, were both finally ready for commitment when they met in 1976 at an L.A. party. Francesca, a musician and composer, had grown up in the East but soon moved west, where she'd become an advocate of alternative medicine and New Age beliefs--reflected in the at-home birth of the couple's first two children, both boys. Shortly after the second pregnancy, Francesca noticed a lump in her breast but sought treatment only after her mother underwent a mastectomy. The lump proved malignant and doctors advised aggressive chemotherapy, but Francesca refused. Instead, she began a lengthy, arduous quest for a natural cure based on diet and biofeedback. She visited Mexican clinics, San Francisco healers, and local practitioners--but the cancer returned. Pregnant with a third child, she refused to terminate the pregnancy as advised and gave birth at home to a daughter. But the cancer had spread to her lungs and Francesca died a year later, aged 37. This kind of story can lend itself to a wholly maudlin telling, but, to Linke's credit, he also describes candidly the reality of life and death: the relieving moments of humor in the darkest hours; his anger when, early on, Francesca seemed preoccupied with her cancer to the exclusion of everything else; and the practical difficulties of coping with death in a household with three small children. Despite a preoccupation with therapists and trends, as well as some inevitable psychobabble, Linke concentrates on the facts, his grief, and the new life that his family has built. Moving testimony from one who's been there and has found that there's a ``passage through loss to life.''

Pub Date: July 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-55972-183-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993