This is a bittersweet book about love and loss due to AIDS. One of my favorite simple yet profound passages explains "grief"--how at first, it controls you; but in time, you control it. Two great cities (San Francisco and Paris) provide the setting.
Writing is done by a true professional, sometimes getting carried away, but it fits the story it tells. Learned a lot about the beginning AIDS epidemic. Fenton Johnson will make you care about Larry just as much as he did and you will feel the loss of a great teacher, son and partner with his passing.
Excellent - recommend highly
Novelist Fenton Johnson watched his lover, San Francisco high-school teacher Larry Rose, die of AIDS in a Paris hospital in 1990 after an intense 3 year relationship. Rose was HIV-positive but asymptomatic when they met, and while their lovemaking was haunted by fear of contagion, the author remains HIV-negative. Rose was the only child of German Jewish Holocaust survivors. His father, Leo, was imprisoned and beaten by the Nazis in Holland, escaped and hid for three years with broken vertebrae had a very different background from that of Johnson, who grew up Catholic and the youngest of 9 in an isolated Appalachian town in Kentucky. Johnson writes with crystal clarity of his gradual acceptance by his lover's emigrant parents, of coming out to his own widowed mother at 31, of Rose's gradual physical deterioration and of his working through grief toward emotional renewal. This is a remarkable memoir, touching, funny, searing, eloquent, beautifully alive.