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by Brendan Halpin
Random House Trade, 2002
Review by S. V. Swamy on May 5th 2003

It Takes a Worried Man

It Takes a Worried Man by Brendan Halpin is a really refreshing perspective of the agony and uncertainty of the spouse of a breast cancer victim. Young, attached to his wife and decidedly neurotic about each and every health issue, Brendan Halpin is suddenly brought by fate, face-to-face with what could arguably termed as incurable, terminal disease, the dreaded cancer, in his wife.  With a small child to be looked after, and the prospect of losing his loved life partner looming in his face, Brendan takes to putting his innermost feelings to paper (or to PC).  Result is an extremely moving, but enjoyable (occasionally quite humorous, I assure you), account of a man's struggle to come to terms with reality, with many probabilities vying to get his attention.  The problems of getting competent medical attention, decision making, putting up with sympathy of friends and relatives and finally reconciling to the situation - all these have been brought out very touchingly. The author is a teacher in a school and never knew his talents as a writer but for his wife's critical health problem and the need for him to clarify his inner confusion through chronicling.

Can he continue writing so well in future? Yes and probably no. Yes, he has all the skills. Probably no because he may not be moved equally by apparently less critical situations.

The book is a good read for everyone. Especially for those who need to cope with, not their own illness but that of their near and dear. A welcome addition to the bookshelf.


© 2003 S. V. Swamy


S. V. Swamy, India.