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Portrays the immense emotional toll that two daughters' illnesses take on a family living in Atlanta. Of the Handlers' three daughters, two developed fatal, rare bone-marrow disorders: Susie was diagnosed with leukemia when she was six and died two years later; Sarah, the youngest, suffered from Kostmann's syndrome, and died at age 27, in 1992. Haunted by these deaths, the author, the so-called well sibling, revisits her conflicted childhood, when her father, a crusading civil rights lawyer from Harrisburg, Pa., and her kind, smart mother from Boston, were happy and still looking toward the future. The family's move to Atlanta in 1965 allowed the father to support labor unions, and Handler, as the oldest, was alerted to the importance of demonstrations and even taken to the funeral of Martin Luther King. However, with Susie's diagnosis (compounding the worry over Sarah's chronic sickliness), the parents began the slow and terrible turning away from one another that erodes families facing the death of a child. In the last part of this affecting memoir, Handler struggles in her young adulthood to find her own way. "Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Jessica Handler chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 12, 2009 to Oct 23, 2009. Read the chat.