In 1986, twenty-three-year-old country girl Nora Brown decides it’s time for a change…
Complacent and bored with her life in rural Oklahoma, Nora leaves her bigoted father and all she’s ever known to pursue a new life in San Francisco. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, Nora, a registered nurse, believes she can be an asset to the community. Bunking in a tiny apartment with a longtime friend, Nora secures a job within a large hospital and begins volunteer work for an organization that cares for those afflicted with the disease.
She is soon faced with the horrors of AIDS—a reality she wasn’t quite prepared for…
Just as the courageous group of caregivers and volunteers have their emotional strength depleted to the point of no return, the group rallies together and pushes forward, remembering their mission—if they aren’t there for these people, who will be?
Nora wasn’t expecting to find him here, to “fall in love among the ashes…”
Along her journey, she meets a diverse community of lionhearted survivors. And then there’s Donald, another volunteer who fights alongside those with dwindling hope. Nora and Donald grow closer as the war on HIV rages around them.
They watch their friends waste to nothing, yet no answers are being offered. The only comfort is the solace they find in each other. After months of hardships, another crippling loss shakes the foundation of Nora’s faith.
Their struggle is not only about HIV/AIDS—but about how the nation responds, and the humanistic choice to be unsung heroes.
This book is so much more than I thought it would be. I thought it would be about a young woman who finds love despite all sadness and tragedy surrounding her during the AIDS epidemic, but it is so much more than that.
Nora leaves behind her only family after having her fill of their close minded beliefs and their lack of compassion for those suffering. She heads to San Fransisco in hopes of helping those in need, with little more than the clothes on her back and her car. What she finds is so much more than she thought she would. She expects to help those dying and in need. She expects to provide friendship and companionship to those who are suffering alone. She expects that what she has to offer will ease some of the loneliness that those affected by the AIDS virus are going through. What she doesn't expect is to find lifelong friendships and bonds with those who are also helping. She isn't looking for love, but she finds it, not only in Donald, but also in Charley, Roxy, Ethan and Gwen. The bond that these characters was created in an unconventional way, but they always had each others back, even when one of them had to leave the world.
This book is filled with a lot of emotional push and pull. I was angry when Nora was angry. I was sad when Nora was sad. I was happy when Nora was happy. This book is a roller coaster of emotions with that little bit of romance to keep Nora grounded.
I loved that this book was so much more than I expected. I loved that not only did I connect with Nora, but I also connected with all the characters in some way or another. I would love to have friends like this group of "Buddies".
**I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.**