Alex, the Life of a Child by Frank Deford (1983, Hardcover)

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Alex, the Life of a Child
by Frank Deford
Publisher:  The Viking Press
Copyright 1983
Book Club Edition

Alexandra Deford, the daughter of Frank and Carol Deford, was born in Connecticut in 1971 and died there in 1980, just over eight years old.  She was a victim of cystic fibrosis, a painful and wasting disease.  It is one of the genetic lottery's cruelest tricks, because parents cannot suspect they are both carriers -- a precondition -- until after a child is born and diagnosed.

Alex is the story of Alex Deford's life and death, and about the ways in which she so deeply affected her parents and brother and friends and all the adults around her.  It is not a clinical saga, though naturally the engines of medicine, now comforting, and now overbearing, constantly obtrude into her existence.  Instead it is a chronicle of tragedy and, yes, laughter (for Alex was a luminous and antic spirit), and above all, love.

There are no miracles of science or remission in this grieving father's plainly and eloquently told tale, though there is faith.  And there are the miracles of how much of a person Alex was constantly becoming, of the gifts of courage she was able to give to those near her, and of how firmly and bravely this child was in control of herself and her brief destiny.

There will perhaps be some who find this book unbearable to contemplate.  So be it, but they will be the losers, not to have known Alex, not to have the deepened sense of humanity that she so tenderly and remarkably induces.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover.  Pages are tanned and darkening from age.  Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper.  Dust cover and flaps are tanned from age.  Dust cover shows a bit of edge wear and tear and creasing.


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    • ISBN 0670111953
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