(I have a different cover)
June 1993, Bantam Books
184 pages, Paperback
Borrowed from Caroline, reviewer on Portrait of A Woman for World AIDS day
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, caring for children with HIV/AIDS, volunteering, family relations, sibling going to university, communication skills, heartbreak, love, lots of tissues needed
Blurb from book
Desi thinks it's totally unfair that innocent baby Alicia was born HIV positive. Now the eight-month-old Alicia lives at Childcare because she was given away by her sick teenage mother. Desi can relate to feeling unloved. Her parents give her all the material things she needs, but there seems to be a wall between her mother and herself.
Working at Childcare has opened Desi's heart and allowed her to feel the love that she's been longing for. But Alicia is not her child and there is no cure for her condition. Can Desi cope with the harsh realities and still believe in love?
I love this book. I knew it would be upsetting because of the subject of the book. I knew Desi felt for Alicia, because she doesn't have the attention and love she needs from her own parents - they dote on her older sister Val. What I didn't realise was how much prejudice Desi would suffer for Alicia. Her mother is dead against the idea of her helping out. She constantly tries to get Desi to stop going. But Desi is strong willed, and carries on doing what she believes is right. It's not always enough when she struggles with prejudice at school, but a new found friendship helps her cope with the backlash of peoples' ignorance. And it is ignorance. HIV/AIDS can't be caught by hugging, kissing, feeding and bathing a baby. You can't be infected by droplets in the air. It is transferred in bodily fluids. Ignorance wasn't at the route of Desi's mother's upset - it was a deep secret that Desi knew a little about, and by the end she knows a lot more. Equally Alicia's background is also explored, showing more sides to those who suffer from AIDS. The words were merging together as the book came to an end - I knew it was inevitable but it's still sad. It shows the strength of writing for me to cry over the book.
A heart-warming story outlining a young lady's compassion for others and a strengthening of her own family relationships.
Check out It Happened to Nancy by anonymous for a true story about AIDS