Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Title Page

Nonfiction

October 20, 1985|IRIS HAINES

EVERYTHING TO LIVE FOR by Susan White-Bowden (Poseidon: $15.95). Seven years after Susan White-Bowden's 17-year-old son committed suicide she wrote "Everything to Live For" for herself and other survivors of family suicide. Jody, John O'Donnell White Jr., was the author's third child and only son. He was not planned and because the author was in charge of family birth control arrangements, she accepted that it was her fault this third child was conceived and born. Three dozen roses brought to the hospital by her husband did not compensate for nine months of his recriminations. The script for the White family was a considerably less than ideal "Father Knows Best." The author was a mere 15 years old when she eloped with the 23-year-old White in 1955. In 1967, White-Bowden was "allowed" to become a full-time working mother at WMAR-TV, Baltimore, where she was hired as their first female news reporter. However, her husband made the provision that all domestic duties still had to be performed in the customary manner. White-Bowden accepted this, at first, believing these were her obligations, but as she began receiving professional accolades and meeting new people (including her future second husband), she grew increasingly independent. Husband John became less effectual as a father and husband and more dependent on her burgeoning strength. He tried to assert his manliness by spending more time with Jody motorcycling, something he thought was a real masculine activity. The couple separated. The first gun was fired in 1974 when White committed suicide after the author's divorce from him was final; this marked the beginning of the end for Jody. How do you survive the loss by suicide of both your ex-husband and son and still get on with your life? Bowden-White contends the answer is to tell all, to communicate, and that she does ably.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|