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An entertaining, funny yet powerful novel about a dysfunctional New York family forced to grapple with a profound question: do they dare take part in a decision involving the death of a loved one? 

Russell, the only son of Jacob and Beryl, becomes painfully aware, as he grows from childhood to adolescence, of his mother’s intellectual failings and his father’s need to control everyone around him. He makes his escape into a relationship with a beautiful young English girl. Their bliss is not to be. Jacob suffers a stroke, is paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. His life is unbearable and he begs Russell to help him end it. His son refuses but there is worse to come. Jacob tries to kill himself by a series of increasingly bizarre and desperate methods and Russell is forced to consider a move that could destroy his own life. 

This gripping novel deals with all the ramifications of euthanasia and how it impacts on a family, no matter what choices they make. Its theme is increasingly topical and although the book is suffused with comedy, it is both disturbing and uplifting.

THE ICE CHILD AND OTHER STORIES

Leon Arden iUniverse (152 pp.)

$12.95 paperback, $3.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1-49-177282-9; October 9, 2015

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