Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

March 13, 1994|SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS

A NECESSARY END by Nick Taylor. (Doubleday: $15; 194 pp.) What Nick Taylor preserves, in this simple story about the end of his parents' lives, is the certainty that almost everyone will live through this story in one form or another--there is none of the precious specialness of other family histories. Taylor's parents do not die of unusual diseases, his family is not particularly "dysfunctional," his parents are not particularly rich or poor. Taylor does not have to give authoritative emphasis to the horrible fact that old people in this country most often spend the last years of their lives without the dignity and security they've earned. His very factual tone may seem cold-blooded, but is, in fact, respectful. He is not telling the story of his relationship with his father or his mother (although they cannot help but come through, if only in the tangle of emotions and responsibilities), nor is he making policy suggestions for health care in this country (although several come to mind reading this book). He is telling the story of how his parents died and what he did, mostly logistically, to try to make it easier for them. "They died," he writes in the end, "knowing that I loved them. I always knew that they loved me. We had cared for each other as best we could, while caring for ourselves. There is really nothing more to know that matters."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|