Getting cancer in your twenties is hardly a picnic. But in this sparkling romantic comedy by Rita Ciresi, two young cancer survivors manage to meet, fall in love, and live to laugh about it.
Twenty-seven-year-old Francie Malarkey has one remaining relative left on earth: her Great-Uncle Sol, a concentration camp survivor whose last grand mission is to see Francie happily married (preferably to a cardiac surgeon). Francie, however, has zero interest in getting hitched to some guy who actually knows the Latin names for her more intimate body parts.
Although she would love to claim that she met Mr. Right at a noisy New Year’s Eve party, her initial encounter with her husband-to-be comes to pass in a hushed hospital waiting room marked with fallout shelter symbols. Joel Goldman--like Francie--is a young cancer survivor who happens to be sitting underneath a warning sign--DANGER! RADIATION IN USE!--that seems to imply that love is a risky business best undertaken by AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.
Francie and Joel's courtship would be a dream come true. . . if only Great-Uncle Sol would stop insisting that Francie needs to marry a doctor instead of a guy who already has one foot in the grave. . . if only Joel's doctor-father would stop trying to micromanage his son's medical care. . . and if only Francie and Joel learn to accept the fact that any person on earth can pass through death's door without a moment's notice.
Bring Back My Body to Me--quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and runner-up for the Faulkner/Wisdom Novella Award—illustrates that sometimes the deepest and most abiding relationships result from our most trying experiences.
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I've just finished the 4th book of fiction I've read by Rita Ciresi in 2 months: Bring Back My Body To Me. I inevitably hanker for more of her writing when I finish one of her books, finding myself first laughing in recognition, then moved to tears. I somehow identify with her vulnerable, flawed, and endearingly, achingly human heroines. They plow through their quotidien conflicts fraught with ambivalence, resignation, bewilderment, gutsiness and the persistent need and desire to risk all for love that drives and redeems them. Her writing is chock full of credible and delicious details, full of the textures and nuances of life's everydayness, its awkwardness and joys, and its beating heart full of desires. Richly moving and entertaining.