Thursday, 21 July 2011

April Fool's Day - Bryce Courtenay (1993)

This book has been sitting in the family library since before I was born. There is not enough words to describe how much I love this book. It is a tribute to Courtenay's son Damon  - a haemophiliac who died as a result of contracting HIV in a blood transfusion. The title refers to the day of Damon's death in 1991. Courtenay made a promise to his dying son to write this book, and as a result it is brutally honest and raw. I put off reading it (mistake on my part) since it is such a huge book (666 pages to be exact.) Damon tried to write the book himself, without completion. It includes chapters written by Damon himself, Damon's partner Celeste, his mother and quotes from his brothers.

If you want a good read, read this book. I loved it so much, it was disappointing to finish it. It's not difficult to read, and challenging to put down. It holds a lot of truth and some things that will shock you. Now I'm going to have to devour all the rest of Courtenay's novels.

This is the story of Damon. Bryce Courtenay is the author and Damon's father. It tells of Damon's childhood, and his determination and perseverance to brave his haemophilia through all the pain and still love life. It isn't supposed to be a sob story about AIDS, but it shows the life that Damon managed to live despite all his challenges and the strength of love in his relationship with his partner Celeste. At seventeen he contracted HIV thorough a transfusion. Years later, this developed into AIDS, and he lost all immune barriers and was constantly getting sick. His family are pillars of strength and the fortitude shown by Damon is remarkable.

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