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Grace Period

Grace Period

by Gerald W. Haslam

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Eric Hoffer Award

Grace Period was awarded the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Legacy Fiction.
Publishers Weekly
Sacramento journalist and lapsed Catholic, Martin Martinez has seen his once fulfilling life flame out: his son has died of AIDS, his marriage is over, his daughter hates him and his siblings wrote him off after he let their mother die alone. Not to mention, he's diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after coming a matchstick's distance to self-immolation in his backyard. As urologists and oncologists prod Marty's tender parts and offer conflicting information about treatment, he marries the eminently patient and understanding cancer-survivor physician, Miranda. With her help, Marty accepts that cancer isn't a punishment from God but just a bunch of cells gone wild. He also reconciles with his family, looks again to the church for support and learns the difference between a "grace period" and a cure. Haslam's (Straight White Male) portrait of the community Marty grew up in rings true, but his didactic prose makes this read like a primer on prostate cancer and a thin treatise on problems facing the Catholic Church, though some will find Marty's story-and his uneasy redemption-inspirational. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Marty Martinez seems to have hit rock bottom. His beloved son died of AIDS, his wife left him for a religious cult, his daughter won't talk to him, and he's been estranged from his siblings ever since his mother died. Then he is diagnosed with prostate cancer, and his whole world completely falls apart. As Marty starts to deal with his illness, however, he discovers what's important to him: his faith as a Catholic, his relationship with his family, and rediscovery of love with a new woman in his life. Although Marty's story is not unique, the approach is different. Not only does Haslam (Straight White Male) address the intimate and often embarrassing issues associated with prostate cancer, but he offers a brave, honest, ethical, and sensitive protagonist who often struggles with issues relating to his Hispanic culture and upbringing. Although the detailed writing style sometimes slows down the story, the novel's appeal grows in proportion to Marty's development as a complex character who learns how to experience life to its fullest. Recommended for large public libraries.-Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

University of Nevada Press
Publication date:
Western Literature Series
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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