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In this insightful and inspirational memoir, Michael Ward returns to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when so little was known and so few who were diagnosed survived. He chronicles in candid detail his partner Mark's decline and eventual death. By looking back on these tragic events, the author not only honors a generation lost to the illness but also opens a vital wiIn this insightful and inspirational memoir, Michael Ward returns to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when so little was known and so few who were diagnosed survived. He chronicles in candid detail his partner Mark's decline and eventual death. By looking back on these tragic events, the author not only honors a generation lost to the illness but also opens a vital window onto the past, before medication helped save lives and HIV/AIDS was a life sentence."The Sea Is Quiet Tonight is about so much more than life and death. It's a story about how relationships survive when death is close...Michael Ward has written from the heart..."-- Catherine Parnell, Consequence magazineMichael H. Ward is a retired psychotherapist. He was instrumental in the development of The Shared Heart, a book and later project that presents coming out stories of forty gay and lesbian teenagers. Happily married, he lives on Cape Cod with his husband, Moe, and cat, Jack....

Title : The Sea Is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir
Author :
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ISBN : 9780996710336
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 204 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Sea Is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir Reviews

  • Lena♥Ribka
    2019-03-26 21:24

    “Love and death. For a generation of gay men, love and death were inextricably intertwined. To love in the age of AIDS was to mourn”."HIV-positive“ is no longer a death sentence. Modern medicines allow many of the infected people to live a long and normal life. It was different at the beginning of the epidemic, it was a terrible time, not only because the NUMBERS of deaths are so impressively terrifying, but mostly because how little we knew about the disease. AIDS erased a whole generation of gay men. (By 1994, AIDS was the leading cause of death among Americans ages 25 to 44.) But all these human tragedies remain often just NUMBERS if we are not personally affected. We experienced so many misfortunes, and catastrophes in the world recently, why should we care about events that took place over 30 years ago. Yes, we should and have and need.The Sea Is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir is one of those books that makes NUMBERS to FACES. Michael H. Ward dedicated his debut novel to his partner Mark Halberstadt, who died back in the early eighties, when getting an AIDS diagnose was equal to a death penalty. Sure, there were treatments (most of them very painful for all participants), but before antiviral drugs came on the mark, all these treatments were just delaying the inevitable.It is an autobiographical non-fictional book, that can be though read as a fictional book. The author did a great job in conveying the atmosphere of the 80s, the early days of the epidemic, but also giving insights in his private life at that time. The Sea Is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir is about two men who met, fell in love, and stayed together up to an inescapable end, a story about a difficult relationship, with all of its ups and downs, before and during the plague. It is a good written and very personal book about love, life and death.I really enjoyed reading it, even if the word enjoy sounds out of place in this context. Comparing to Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette less painful - you won't be able to read it with dry eyes though - but very emotional, realistic, honest, heartbreaking, intimate and... yes, also brutally beautiful. **Copy provided by Querelle Independent via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

  • CrabbyPatty
    2019-04-04 21:16

    Emotional, honest, heart-wrenching account of Michael Ward and Mark Halberstadt, who meet at Fire Island in September of 1981 and fell in love. Mike is a therapist in Boston and Mark a former teacher with an uncompleted PhD in Arabic Studies, who is pursuing his dream career as a boat captain. In March of 1983, Larry Kramer writes "1,112 and Counting" - which Michael considers "hysterical and melodramatic" and doesn't see how AIDS could relate to him at all. Soon Mark has a bad case of thrust, gets shingles and by the end of summer has a cough that will not go away. Around the time of their second anniversary Mark gets pneumocystis pneumonia and becomes the 100th person in Massachusetts to be given an AIDS diagnosis. Soon their mantra becomes "we just have to keep Mark alive until they find a cure."Mark dies shortly after his 42nd birthday in July of 1984 and is cremated ("I don't want to be buried with this fucking virus in my body. I want every last diseased cell burned away, so all that's left is me ... just me."). At his memorial service, Michael remarks on the sailor's gravestone they had seen off a country road in Maine with the inscription "The sea is quiet tonight" and ends with "The sea will be quiet for many nights to come for you. I wish you peace on your journey, my love." Ward writes beautifully and honestly about their relationship, his PTSD, and life after Mark's death. It's also a story of a community forged by the most horrific of circumstances. Read this book.I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Alisa
    2019-03-26 01:00

    This was a bit sad, a bit bittersweet, and a lot beautiful. The author chronicles the AIDS epidemic as he looses friends and his partner. This subject matter is very special to me. In the 90's I interned at an AIDS hospice and these men and their lives had such an impact on me. In a world of Prep and other medications, I don't think this younger generation really understands the nightmare world of the 80's and 90's. I think this is an important story to tell and an important story for people to read.**review copy provided through Netgalley**

  • Sofia
    2019-04-11 00:04

    The Sea is Quiet TonightHey boys welcome to liberty and freedom, here have a virus……………...Written as a day by day memoir - which kind of amazes me as I tend to remember snippets of happenings, feelings rather than the daily nitty gritty. Ward does not hold back on the details, he gives a candid and honest picture which is not cosmetically tricked up to look better. As a memoir of an American guy who lived in Boston/New York in the eighties it gives a wealth of information. This is a hard review to write because whilst the topic is a heart breaking one, I did not feel the necessary connection to the writing to make this a great unforgettable read for me. Which is a pity really. I was attracted by the title and the blurb and was very disappointed when reading became a chore rather than a pleasure. You might say that the topic is a hard one, not one for pleasure and I'll reply that yes that true but by pleasure I mean not yippee yay fun, but pleasure in reading and connecting. Ah maybe Boston in the 1980's is too far away for me to connect with but I think not, rather it's the writing style which is super on detail but still skimmed the surface.Ward writes about one single man Mark - one of the early AIDS warriors (I hate the world victim in this contest) and we see the effect of the illness on him and the people around him. One thing Mark had in his favour was that he was surrounded by loving people. I can’t help but think of the unsung ones, the ones who died and who are still dying alone. Because AIDS is still here, yes there are medicines that can cure/keep it away but I fear that these medicines will not reach the poor ‘warriors’ who AIDS is attacking now.An ARC gently given by author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review.

  • Jacqui Bloomberg
    2019-03-26 02:08

    I was completely drawn into this story, getting to know the characters from many different perspectives. Mike Ward's writing is beautiful, honest, and courageous. In addition to bringing to life the history of the AIDS movement in Boston, it also provides an intimate view of one couple's personal experience with the dreadful disease. I learned more in this book than I did during the actual period, and I am now aware of so many aspects that seemed hidden from the public. Learning the significance of the title near the end of the book made the experience that much more poignant for me.

  • Anne
    2019-03-29 23:13

    It's hard to say I "enjoyed" this book as it is a memoir of the AIDS crisis. It is sad and dripping with love and loss but not maudlin or exploitative. Michael Ward tells an honest story of his relationship with his boyfriend Mark. Their families are described and the whole period is beautifully and heartbreakingly described. It isn't a lightweight or easy read but it is vital that we do not forget this pain or these people and Mr Ward captures it all with searing honesty. I was given a free copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  • Vellum Voyages
    2019-04-04 20:54

    5 helms Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages (www.vellumvoyages.com)Love and death. For a generation of gay men, love and death were inextricably intertwined. To love, in the ages of AIDS, was to mourn. - Mitchell Katz, M.DThis is Michael Ward's and Mark Halberstadt's story- a chronicle of two gay men, their love for one another and how their lives become affected by the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. Michael (Mike) and Mark meet at a beach house on Fire Island and what follows is a love story with the spice of different personalities, varying ambitions and the harsh realities of everyday life. Mike the realist and a psychotherapy therapist and Mark the dreamer, a former teacher with aspirations to sail for a living and own his own boat, have much more on their plate when their love is challenged not just by the everyday but by Mike's diagnosis of AIDS. Suddenly, everything seems petty when death is just around the corner...Plain, honest, simple and yet powerful and heartbreaking writing.To be caught in such a maelstrom of an epidemic and to watch your partner suffer despite being surrounded by the best healthcare in a powerful nation would have been one of the hardest things to undergo and my heart went out to Mike. This book allows us perspective on how love and life can be two separate entities and on how quickly we have to grow up in adversity despite being adults. I hope this book has allowed Mike to heal, as it is not only a beautifully moving tribute to Mark but also an eye opener for those of us who weren't there. All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them - Isak Dinesen *Thank-you Michael H. Ward, Netgalley & Querelle Press for the RC.

  • Grady
    2019-04-18 03:21

    ‘Gay men in the seventies and early eighties saw Fire Island as a combination Mecca and Oz’Massachusetts author Michael H. Ward has a strong history of aiding others. He earned his BA and MA in English Literature from the University of Nebraska, taught composition and literature on military installations in the North Atlantic for University of Maryland Overseas Program, became Director of Freshman English at Tuskegee Institute, joined the test development staff at Educational Testing Center and moved to New York City to become certified as a Transactional Analyst and served as a psychotherapist until his retirement. He was instrumental in the development of The Shared Heart (William Morrow, 1997), which presents the portraits and coming out stories of 40 gay and lesbian teenagers. The Shared Heart won the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award in the nonfiction category in 1998. It was also on ALA's Best Books for Young Adults list in 1999. What Michael offers here is a memoir of his personal experiences of his life as a gay single man and then as a partner to Mark who in those days when AIDS didn’t even have a name other than gay cancer. He leads us through his splendid relationship with Mark, allows us entry into the highs and lows of being gay before Gay Rights was even considered as a possibility, teaches us much about the evolution of AIDS, shares the shock and pain of discovering Mark has AIDS and stays with this story through Mark’s and his struggle and the eventual loss of his beloved Mark. While others have written books and plays and symphonies and song cycles and movies and television shows about the very topic Michael uses as the theme of this memoir, very few have been able to touch the reader in as profound a manner as Michael has accomplished. This is an eloquent book, beautifully written with poetry-like prose about a love story in a time where everything challenged gay love. It is a significant history of a movement, a medical conundrum, and a paean to love. Highly Recommended.

  • John Treat
    2019-04-18 00:24

    This is, again, the story of two gay men whose lives are torn asunder in the early 1980s. I say "again" but we need thousands more of these memoirs. Everything to which we are accustomed is there: that crowded beach house on Fire Island, then little disquieting signs of a body in revolt, the first news of a mysterious disease, the hypochondria, the mounting diagnoses, the search for miracle drugs, "the test," more tests of their love under the burden of illness and care-giving, then the death of one and the misery of the other who survives. Yes, these men are white, educated, middle-class and living amid the best medical resources of America, and the reader can't help think of the poor, the black, and the rural who faced this disease at the same time with even less hope. But this is Mike and Mark's story. Hope did nothing for them in the end, it is the story of many of us, and it is no less tragic for all else they may have had, because it was all stolen from them. Michael's book is a beautiful gift for Mark.

  • Jeanne
    2019-04-04 00:56

    I was around 10 years old when the first AIDS cases were being diagnosed. It was a confusing and scary time because it was all part of the unknown.As a child I knew about the crisis, but felt disconnected from it. This book brings to life those early years and gives us all a front row seat to experience how the crisis turned love and life into inexplicable (and often swift) loss. The book is beautifully written. I found myself getting so immersed in the heartfelt storytelling I couldn't put it down. I felt I was right there, experiencing the ups and downs alongside them. AIDS is now worldwide, but this book allows us to circle back to the very beginning and to settle there for a moment to remember...and never forget.

  • Laurie
    2019-03-30 01:12

    The discovery of HIV in the early 80's was a death sentence for the gay man. This is just that: A heartbreaking chronicle of a man who gets the terminal diagnosis.More than that is the love and care he receives from his partner and friends as well as his medical caretakers. I know many people who have this devastating disease and now live their lives with simply a cocktail to keep the disease and blood counts in check.Back in the 80 's, I worked in an oncologist office as the chemo nurse,and remember the devastation of these men who first were told it was pneumonia, then lymphoma and then being dead in a few short months.This book was insightfully written and truly a good read for those who want to understand how this horrible Disease came to be and how far we have come.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-02 22:11

    A beautifully written tribute to his partner, Mark and the heartbreaking plights of all those affected by the AIDS epidemic. It has given me insight into what my cousin, Mark must have experienced in his battle with the disease. I feel truly blessed to have been allowed entry into this intimate battle of the illness and hope that many others will find solace and gain strength in their own journey no matter what illness besieges their life. Thanks, Mike for your honesty and bravery in sharing your story!

  • Liz Gray
    2019-04-06 02:19

    Ward's poignant memoir is hard to put down. He tells the story of his partner Mark--their meeting in the early 1980s on Fire Island, their burgeoning romance, and Mark's death from AIDS--with candor, kindness, and humor. In addition to being a riveting personal story, "The Sea Is Quiet Tonight" offers an inside look into the early years of the AIDS epidemic in Boston, which has never received as much air time as bigger cities like San Francisco and New York. Ward's first reading and signing will take place on December 1, World AIDS Day, at 7:00 pm at the Brookline Booksmith.

  • Sue J
    2019-04-07 23:18

    Mike, I am bursting with happiness for you that you were able to write such a wonderful story. I absolutely loved it with all it's complexities....with all its love and sorrow. I didn't want to put it down, yet I did, because I didn't want it to end. You took me on a journey of the heart and soul. Thank you.

  • Margaret D. Rubick
    2019-04-19 23:18

    Touching and insightful. Sexually intimate without being prurient. It's a love story with all its components--the discovery, the feelings, the grief of loss and the hope of present life. I lived in San Francisco when the AIDS epidemic started. I'm grateful for the movement for medical response and, as a friend's license plate reads, think "STOPAIDS."

  • Audrey
    2019-04-19 02:14

    Great account on the AIDS epidemic in Boston in the 1980s. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a love story or wants to learn more about the stigma gay men faced at the time.

  • Brandon
    2019-04-18 01:16

    This is a difficult review to write. I believe this is an important book -- understanding the day-to-day experiences of people affected by the AIDS virus at the beginning of the epidemic is a historically important document and these are the kinds of stories that need to be told. There is an honesty and unvarnished truth to the telling that is admirable. However, as a book it's only okay at best. The writing is stilted with a "first this happened and then this happened" kind of telling which prevents it from being especially engaging. There's also an odd quality with attention paid to certain extremely inconsequential physical/tangible details while at the same time huge human and emotional moments seem largely passed over and summarized with a word or two. On a personal note, I also just had a really difficult time connecting to the characters. I am a gay man who has never felt accepted by the gay community at large, and this book certainly did not help with that. I found myself completely unable to relate to any of the experiences of these men, and it was difficult to take the stresses of money, particularly, all that seriously when at the same time there's this sense of regular long weekends away to exciting locales while living in a downtown loft. This is a memoir, so I have no doubt the stresses and feelings were real and I don't want to belittle those experiences for the people involved, but it left a bad taste in my mouth that was difficult to not take personally and make me feel further alienated.

  • Cindy Hall
    2019-03-30 21:08

    OK. I am completely biased on this one. It was written by the partner of Jamin's uncle Mark Halberstadt, and is the story of their relationship and Mark's battle with AIDS. I am so moved by this memoir that gave me insight into a man whom I never met but wished I had, as well as such an intimate look into the relationship of two gay men in the early 1980s -- a time when AIDS was just rearing its head as the horrific illness that it is. Michael Ward honors the many lives cut short by this disease, but also highlights the courage of those who were dealing with it -- those who had AIDS, those who loved the people with the diagnosis, those who cared for the sick, and those who fought for the rights of gays with and without the disease. Bravo to Michael for writing this very revealing book. And RIP Mark Halberstadt.

  • Fae
    2019-04-06 00:59

    Copy provided by the publisher for reviewAt first I wasn't sure how I felt about this book, it reads very much like a novel, in the sense that events from over 30 years ago are described with such clarity it almost feels like a story, not a memory. It took a little while to get used to the style but by the end, I was enthralled and read most of the book over a day. It's obviously a sad story, but it's an important story, one of strength and love and loss and a reminder of what the previous generation of lgbt+ people went through and the work they did so that we could have it a little easier. HIV and AIDS still carry such stigma, but it no longer means certain death or a quick and terrible death and a lot of people lost their lives in the fight to understand this virus and how to treat it. It's important to remember them and not just that they died, but that they lived.

  • Judith Siers-Poisson
    2019-04-14 00:58

    I couldn't put this book down and read it in two long evenings. This is an exceptionally well-written memoir of being a young gay man in the early 1980s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic first hit the community. Ward tells the story of a difficult but deeply loving relationship with his partner in the years before the diagnosis in a very compelling way, and then the struggles they faced with the disease is clear-eyed while also heartbreaking. Really a wonderful book.

  • DianaAitch
    2019-03-29 02:24

    A very open, honest and touching memoir.A very emotional read about the loving relationship of Mark and Mike and the turmoil of the AIDS epidemic of the early 80's, the sad decline in Marks health and his eventual death.Such a beautiful heartbreakingly sad story to read....

  • Betty Harris
    2019-04-04 21:19

    Very tender story of a love lost to HIV/AIDS. Felt like I was there much of the time. While the death toll is t making headlines it is still changing and taking lives

  • Kathy
    2019-03-28 00:03

    Beautifully written ❤️

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-14 00:18

    Over thirty years have passed since news of the unexplained deaths of gay men was first reported by the media. Healthy young men became ill with a mysterious illness that claimed their lives within a few months. The medical community was stymied, aggressively tracking every symptom, looking for commonalities, pursuing every possible treatment. Then it was named: AIDS, and for many years was a death sentence, its specter haunting gay men and their partners. Will I be next? Is he showing symptoms?“The Sea is Quiet Tonight” is a memoir about one man’s relationship with another who became the 100th person in Boston diagnosed with AIDS. It tells their story of meeting, falling in love, working out the differences in their relationship, and then, all that follows Mark Halberstadt’s diagnosis: meeting new people, bonding together through illness, sharing information, social activism, and the grieving for all the lives lost too soon.Michael Ward writes of the frustration of the medical community, patients and partners, parents and friends. Research was not occurring at the speed or level needed; medicine was in short supply; the Reagan administration was dragging its feet with funding. Beyond the fear of the disease was the fear held by many who worried infection could come from casual contact. Patients sometimes felt like lepers. Judgment and criticism about sexual behavior was rampant, hateful and hurtful. “Indignity follows indignity.” The stories of Mark’s parents and his beloved aunt Pearl are also imbedded in this memoir: conflicted feelings about their relationships, small moments of hope during Mark’s treatment, their feelings of powerlessness, and always, their love for him.In those early, dark days, heroes emerged, and Ward brings them back to us: Dr. Jerry Groopman, Michael’s doctor, whose name would become familiar to us in the Boston area, a dedicated doctor leading on the ground research, collaborating with doctors around the country, and Larry Kessler and his formation of the AIDS Action Committee in Boston, and then, Mark’s tireless commitment to the AAC and Kessler’s newly formed support groups or buddy programs and the Mayor’s Council on AIDS. “I do enough, I have enough, I am enough” was Michael Ward’s mantra through Mark’s illness, death, memorial service and beyond. This memoir is not just a testimony to his love and gentle care of Mark, but also a reminder about the loss of a generation and the courage and resilience of so many.

  • Valerie Haberman
    2019-04-01 22:54

    I love this book. I was caught by Mike’s description of the beginnings of his relationship with Mark, those adjustments that are endured as two people love each other and begin to assimilate their lives. Adjustment sounds like such an easy word but, as Mike describes, there is a world of inner and outer changes that take place to accommodate this new aspect of life and self; the joining with another person to share a life. Mike captures sweet normalcy of unburdened days, but with the many burdens of life…. developing relationship, being in therapy, finding who we are and where we fit in this life, and the challenges faced by the gay community in those early days of the AIDS epidemic… all the tragic and wonderful circumstances that consume our lives. And then, the way that all changes when illness enters the fold; life’s great way of drastically changing perception with loss and how the burdens of days past suddenly don’t seem the burdens they were once experienced as. I found myself completely caught up in the love story, wanting that moment when love wins and life unfolds in simplicity around the depth of connection and commitment to one another. I became aware of my own expectations about what the story was going to be and was taken by surprise by this engagement in the beginning of the story, knowing that it would develop into another kind of experience at some point; the experience of illness and loss. There is such a sweetness in knowing the depths that were traversed before the depths of illness, that touches the loss in a deeply poignant way. I am moved by the magnitude that a person with quiet presence can emanate… this is my impression of Mark; a quiet presence that lives on in the lives and stories that are remembered. There is often so much more in the quiet than hours of words can convey, and Mike captures this quiet presence beautifully. His story reminds me of a poem I read recently:‘Tis a fearful thingTo loveWhat death can touch.To love, to hope, to dream,And oh, to lose.A thing for fools, this,Love,But a holy thing,To love what death can touch.For your life has lived in me;Your laugh once lifted me;Your word was a gift to me.To remember this brings painful joy.‘Tis a human thing, love,A holy thing,To loveWhat death can touch. ~Yehuda HaLevi

  • Robyn Obermeyer
    2019-04-22 22:08

    I like the way it read, being able to write about Mark in a way that felt as if he was very much alive,until he got sick, very sad ...........

  • Shira Block
    2019-04-09 21:17

    Thank you, Mike Ward, for opening your heart and sharing your intimate story of love and loss during the AIDs epidemic. I had just gratuated college in the 80s when news of the epidemic went widespread. I knew that some of the freedom of life, dating, and exploration had permanently constricted, however I had no personal connection to why or to the suffering and fear that went along with that change. After reading The Sea Is Quiet Tonight, I have a new understanding and am inspired by the resiliency of the gay community. The subtle delivery of The Sea Is Quiet Tonight in no way diminished the powerful impact of this memoir. In fact, Mike Ward's brilliant writing and storytelling kept me invested as he and Mark fell in love and faced love's worst nightmare. There are many layers to The Sea Is Quiet Tonight that can capture any reader. However, most important to me is the deep reminder that love is love, loyalty is loyalty, and loss in the face of an epidemic changes us all. While reading this memoir I fell in love with Mike, felt inspired by Mark's optimism especially in the end. Make sure you have tissues in hand for this powerful and important story.

  • Abby Slater- Fairbrother
    2019-03-28 00:21

    This books takes you on a journey. The journey begins with Mike & Marks blossoming relationship, building to Mark's diagnosis of aids during the 1980's aids epidemic. The relationship between the too, is complex but built upon a basis of deep love for one another. The both come across as genuine, deep and thoughtful men. I felt a real sense of hopelessness when Mark's symptoms became much worse as you understandably know that outcome & prognosis. The book is written with such depth & honesty, that I found myself feeling extremely tearful at times. This book is not written about patient A with aids, but Mark a man you grow to admire and root for. The book also touches upon the fragility of life & the importance of maintaining health & happiness. although this subtlety done through the writing in Mike's own reflections on his behaviour. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those in the medical field. This book has made me reflect upon my own habits and routines. How I may improve my life for myself & those around me! I think it really opened my eyes to exactly how precious life really is! 5*

  • Maureen Moyes
    2019-04-17 22:11

    MoMo Book Diary recommends Michael Ward’s The Sea Is Quiet as a very emotional 5 star read. Michael truly honors Mark’s memory with this memoir. “The Sea Is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir” tells a heartbreaking story that will have you hooked from the start. The author writes from the heart as he tells the wonderful yet brutally honest story of his relationship with his partner, Mark Halberstadt. Mark was the 100th person in Massachusetts to be diagnosed with AIDS. I was too young to fully understand the chatter about AIDS during the 1980s. Since then, I have read a number of articles and books on the devastation brought with an AIDS diagnosis – nothing has touched me in the way this memoir has. At times I felt that I was reading the author’s personal diary, it was so raw and honest. The characters were described perfectly and I felt that I knew them personally.This review is also published on my blog, netgalley and amazon

  • Arja Salafranca
    2019-04-04 02:07

    A heart-felt moving story of love in the time of the Aids epidemic in the 1980s. While their relationship wasn't always smooth sailing, the book remains a loving ode and remembrance to a lover, as well as an evocation of a time and place, before ARVs, before hope, a time of immense fear.