Review: Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days ~ Nancy Bevilaqua


When they met, David was a 41-year-old heroin addict, homeless and   dying of AIDS. The author was a 27-year-old, self-absorbed, bar-hopping would-be poet–  and his caseworker. In 1989, in New York City, there was nothing “manageable” about AIDS, and David would have only eight more months to live. Something about him drew her to him until the boundary between “caseworker” and “client” dissolved, and she fell in love with him. Living together in secrecy in his little Lower East Side studio for those final eight months, they hoped for the impossible until it was impossible to hope any more. In the short time they had together–a time that would change them both–they formed a relationship that would, sixteen years later, unexpectedly and with ferocity come back to haunt the author, send her into the full-fledged grief that she had denied herself when David died, and change her life once again.

5 Thumbs-Up

 I have just finished reading this book, and very much enjoyed it.

Ms. Bevilaqua writes about, what can be an emotive subject, with compassion and understanding, and not once did she point the finger of blame as can so often occur in this type of book. She treats David’s story with all the compassion and dignity it deserves

If you have very strong religious views about AIDS maybe this may not be the book for you.


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