Books: Fantasy Life

DYING YOUNG

by Marti Leimbach

Doubleday; 278 pages; $17.95

Victor Geddes, 33, suffers from leukemia. Abandoning his chemotherapy, he places an ad in the Boston Globe for a companion and caretaker; Hilary Atkinson, 27, applies for the job. Soon these two fall in love and move to the anonymity of a rented room on the Massachusetts coast. There, as winter sets in, they meet Gordon, 30, who becomes Victor's friend and, on the sly, Hilary's lover. The situation is messy, but at least members of the menage can foresee one outcome for certain: Victor will die soon.

This premise promises a...