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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
It may be a privilege to prepare the place where a guest will sleep, but what about when that privilege involves offering up a spare room to a dying friend? Helen has little idea of the consequences her singular act of generosity will set in motion when she invites her old friend Nicola to stay while she undergoes treatment for cancer. Still wonderfully bohemian at age 65, Nicola distrusts conventional medicine and is set on an alternative course of treatment that Helen immediately recognizes as a fraud. But Nicola is determined to find her own way on this journey, and Helen can only bite her tongue and watch helplessly.
Charting territory -- in friendship and in life -- that is both heartbreaking and bittersweet, Garner has fashioned a novel that's powerful, moving, sharply funny, and rich with lived experience. What are the limits of friendship? How much should one presume? Who will care for members of a generation who haven't planned for the inevitable? With clarity and grace, Garner tackles the thorny and delicate issues involved in helping a friend in need. Though we can't rightly call Garner a "new" writer, she is truly great; this little gem of a novel is proof positive. (Spring 2009 Selection)