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.D
This 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.