T.A. Webb's Reviews > Caregiver

Caregiver by Rick R. Reed
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Nov 03, 11

Read in October, 2011

It is very hard to separate myself, my life, my friends and my losses from a book like this. I was in my early 20's when the "gay cancer" started to be talked about, and was 30 in 1991, when this book is set. I remember when my best friend since I was in 6th grade tested positive, dropped out of sight and eventually died alone in Marin County, because he was so afraid we would see him wither and die. I remember my roommate, a kind, gentle man with a beautiful tenor who sang in his church choir had to be hospitalized time after time with pneumocyctis pneumonia and I started seeing KS lesions, and his eyes dulled with cataracts. And how I thanked God every day after my first test was negative, when I had night sweats and sore gums and thought the worst. And how we went to more funerals than any group of young men should ever have to go to. And how we prayed for a cure, or even better medications than AZT, and how slowly some of our prayers were answered. And how we kept on loving and living.

This isn't my story, but in an odd, loving way, it is. Mine, and every man out there who lost a loved one to this cruel and ugly disease.

Dan and his partner Mark move from Chicago to the warm climate of Tampa for a fresh start. Mark's slow slide into addiction forces them to run away from their home and try a new place, a new life, with new friends. While they look for work, Dan decides to become and "AIDS buddy" with a local outreach agency.

Adam is a wisp of a man, blonde and cute, snarly and tough as nails and a riot. He is also positive, moving into the later stages of his infection, and though he presents a good front, scared. His partner, Sullivan, supports him but is scared what the disease might do to him. Miracle of miracles, he has tested negative, and while he loves Adam dearly, he wants to stay that way.

This is really the story of four men, although two are gone in very different ways throughout the book. It is also a very powerful story about how loss can turn into love. How being willing to surrender and let go can bring strength. How a man's heart can love and lose and still keep beating. And how friendships can grow into more. And most of all, how we all have to remember to keep memories alive and keep living through the losses.

Mr. Reed had written a gentle lullaby of a book here, and it sang me to rest with loving memories of lost ones, dear friends, and shared joys. Thanks.

Tom
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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T.A. Webb Thank you, Tracy. I appreciate the compliment. How did you enjoy the book?


Shae Connor Lovely review, just the kind this story deserves. :)


T.A. Webb Thank you, Shae. It is very kind of you to say so.


message 4: by Lou (new)

Lou Sylvre I've already purchased this book to read, and it's next in line. You're review is poignant and beautifully written and I'm looking forward to it even more than before. But I'm a crier, so I'll get a box of tissue first.


T.A. Webb Thanks, Lou. Please let me know your thoughts when you finish.


message 6: by L-D (new) - rated it 5 stars

L-D I'm almost scared to read this book. Will it leave me a heartbroken mess?


Mistral Beautiful review!


T.A. Webb Lan-Dinh - no. You will cry, but it is really an uplifting and lovely book. Sweet sorrow maybe?

Tom


T.A. Webb And thank you Mistral. That is very kind of you.


message 10: by L-D (new) - rated it 5 stars

L-D Okay - DEEP BREATH - that's good to know. I can do this. I'm about 45% finished and I'm all stressed out and sweating bullets.


message 11: by T.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

T.A. Webb It's worth it!


message 12: by Eden (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eden Winters I'm going to have to call it a night, and pick up again in the morning before work if I can. Outstanding read. I'm so invested in these characters and seeing where the story goes. Excellent review, Tom. I had this on my TBR list, but you pulled it up to the top.


message 13: by Birte (new)

Birte wonderful review. I was a bit wary if I would like this book, but now I'm pretty sure I will. added to my want-to-have-list :)


message 14: by Viv (new) - added it

Viv This review is probably as good as the actual book. Very well said, good sir.


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