So Much for That is a dark novel. It examines the effects of serious illness on marriages while indicting the American lack of univeral health care. Shepard Armstrong Knacker's wife, Glynis, has mesolithemia, a rare cancer of the thin membranes covering most organs. Glynis' prognosis is poor and although Shep has insurance, it doesn't nearly cover all of her treatments. Their good friends, Carol and Jackson, have a daughter with the genetic disorder, dysautonmia. Flicka's disease is disabling, painful and humiliating. Her prognosis is equally dire.
The novel opens with Glynis' diagnosis and things just go downhill. In both marriages, the severe diseases shape the relationships and gut their finances. Even though both Jackson and Shep's families are covered by health insurance through their employer, the coverage is spotty; not everything is covered and to get the money or portion thereof, that they are entitled to, is a full-time job. There are so many hoops to jump through, phone calls to make, and forms to fill in. A small error at any point postpones coverage. They have to pay out-of-pocket. The stress and financial burdens take their toll. So Much for That isn't an easy book to read, yet I was compelled to keep turning the pages. Although the end a little polly-anna, after all of the horror that preceded it, it provided relief from all that darkness.
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