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They were three beautiful, promising sisters, daughters of Jewish immigrants - Mary, Fannie and Regina, young women during the pre-war depression. In a tragic twist of fate, all three were to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Fannie died first, a young mother of three, then in the next decade, Mary, both lonely, painful deaths; while Regina struggled against her recurrent cancer until she was 64. Told by Janet, Regina's daughter, STAYING ALIVE is the story of the sisters - their battle with what seemed an invincible foe and the toll it took on their personalities, their sisterhood, their marriages and their children, particularly their daughters who, too, were likely to be victims. At the centre is the intense relationship between Regina and Janet bound by love and a genetic curse - and ultimately, Janet's momentous and far-reaching decision to be free of it.Candid and deeply moving, STAYING ALIVE is a truly inspiring story of survival, of hope and the possibility of overcoming destiny.
Janet Reibstein is a university lecturer, clinician, writer and broadcaster on the psychology of relationships. She has written three previous books about relationships, marriages and family. An American, she lives in the UK with her husband and two sons, and currently teaches at the University of Exeter. Her last book, Staying Alive: A Family Memoir, was published by Bloomsbury in 2002.