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