Having grown up in the theater (as in, on the stage), I have lost a number of friends to AIDS related illnesses. It's made me a bit of an AIDS snob. Never did my parents exhibit any hesitation toward my brothers and I, in discouraging our relationships with friends with AIDS or who were HIV positive. If they had any fear, any uncertainty, we didn't know it. So I was never uncomfortable with the illness. And I knew that my friends didn't die OF AIDS, they died with AIDS, AIDS compromised their immune systems and they all died OF something like liver failure, a cancer, other illnesses. And regardless of what killed them in the end, or anyone else who I or you have lost to extended illness - it is so difficult to watch them go through it.
But I've not lost a sibling, a parent. I'm not married nor have a family of my own. I've not lost a husband nor a child.
I love how this story shows, from many sides, the reaction, the emotion, the effects, the sadness, the judgement, the love, the healing, the acceptance - so many different emotions felt knowing someone with AIDS.
Also, I felt it was a realistic view of family life. Of the importance of communication. Of the reality of youth.
I enjoyed the story. I recommend this story.