A Share of Loving. HAN SUYIN.

A Share of Loving.

London. Jonathan Cape. 1987. Stock ID #172806

147pp, dustjacket a touch worn, otherwise very good hardback copy.

This is a book about caring and about love, within a family. Han Suyin has not one family but two - her own in China and the one she entered when she married Vincent, a member of a large Indian Catholic clan which dates back to St Thomas the Apostle. The family was presided over by Appa, a venerable politician, lawyer and educator whose centenary was celebrated for three days in Madras, his native city. Han Suyin bridged the gap of culture, background and religion and at the same time maintained her own commitments. While acting as a go-between in the India-China dispute she continued, with ceaseless energy, to write and lecture. Further trails lay in store for her. Peter, Vincent's son by his first marriage, a successful engineer, fell ill while working in Iran. Initially no one knew what was wrong with him - was it exhaustion? Malaria? Had it anything to do with his recurrent sinus infection? When Peter went into a coma, tuberculosis meningitis was diagnosed. Brain damage ensued. Han Suyin unblinkingly recounts the details of the illness and the traumatic effects on herself and Vincent.
Her husband refused to give up hope, was convinced that his son would return to 'normality' and strove to stimulate his son's brain, which meant that for six months a year Han Suyin was alone. The family rallied round. They took it in turns to look after Peter despite the many difficulties and cramped conditions. Aggie and Patrick, Vincent's sister and brother-in-law, still found time for care for Peter while nursing their own son who was dying of muscular dystrophy. The family's devotion and selflessness make a powerful testament to faith. Thanks to their efforts, Peter, a middle-aged child, relearned how to dress smartly, handle money, travel on buses and converse with friends. With impressive candour Han Suyin relates how this tragedy has affected her marriage.

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