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Sarah's Song: A True Story of Love and Courage

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Janice and Bill were the perfect couple. They met during college, got married and began promising careers. But in 1987 their storybook life was shattered forever when they were diagnosed with HIV. Janice explains how they coped.


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Janice and Bill were the perfect couple. They met during college, got married and began promising careers. But in 1987 their storybook life was shattered forever when they were diagnosed with HIV. Janice explains how they coped.

30 review for Sarah's Song: A True Story of Love and Courage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Warren-Newport Public Library

    Sarah’s Song tells the story of Janice Burns and her husband Bill, typical 1980’s yuppies, except for one difference: Bill had contracted HIV during a prior same-sex relationship, and he unknowingly passed the virus along to his wife. In both of them, the infection rapidly progressed into full-blown AIDS. Together they suffered through a variety of infections that robbed her of her hearing, him of his memory, and both of them of the opportunity to become parents (“Sarah” is the name Janice gave Sarah’s Song tells the story of Janice Burns and her husband Bill, typical 1980’s yuppies, except for one difference: Bill had contracted HIV during a prior same-sex relationship, and he unknowingly passed the virus along to his wife. In both of them, the infection rapidly progressed into full-blown AIDS. Together they suffered through a variety of infections that robbed her of her hearing, him of his memory, and both of them of the opportunity to become parents (“Sarah” is the name Janice gave to the child she wished for). Surprisingly, Janice exhibits none of the anger most women would feel if their husbands transmitted a deadly virus to them. “At first I wanted [Bill] to apologize, to take the blame upon [himself], beg me for forgiveness…But it took me a long time to acknowledge that apologies can only be given for deliberate actions. [Bill] never meant to hurt me. This is why I no longer need to hear the words: ‘I’m sorry.'” (pp. 228-229). It is hard to say if it is a mark of saintliness that she is able to forgive him for essentially taking her life, or if she needs to believe that she and her husband had the love of the century because she sacrificed so much for it. Either way, this is a remarkable memoir and one well worth reading. (Amy B.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    I just looked up this author to see if she has published any other books and I was saddened to see that she died in 2006 from AIDS. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/14/nyr... RIP Janice Burns. Your words about love and loss were very inspirational and beautiful. I just looked up this author to see if she has published any other books and I was saddened to see that she died in 2006 from AIDS. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/14/nyr... RIP Janice Burns. Your words about love and loss were very inspirational and beautiful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Heartbreaking story of a young couple battling AIDS. Beautifully written. The author has amazing strength and courage. Everyone should read this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Well, now that I've stopped crying, I can review this book. I can't lie- I got annoyed by the author's chronology and formatting; but then I realized that if that was the main thing I took away from this, then I was a complete jerk. The writing was beautiful and from the heart. This is such a personal story- woman falls in love with man in late 1980s; marries him; finds out they both have HIV. And deal. This book gives a face, a story, a depth, to HIV, to AIDS, to a kind of love that I don't thi Well, now that I've stopped crying, I can review this book. I can't lie- I got annoyed by the author's chronology and formatting; but then I realized that if that was the main thing I took away from this, then I was a complete jerk. The writing was beautiful and from the heart. This is such a personal story- woman falls in love with man in late 1980s; marries him; finds out they both have HIV. And deal. This book gives a face, a story, a depth, to HIV, to AIDS, to a kind of love that I don't think we often see. Not the 'ooh, great sex and exciting vacations together' sort of love, but the unconditional kind that means giving your spouse injections, dealing with incontinence, watching them die before age 30. Watching all of the dreams you had and intended to share together disappear in a few short years. It's the kind that I hope I will never have to take part in myself, but which gives me hope for humanity.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin Baker

    An interesting, honest, and thoughtful read. Shows true love and courage.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monkey

    really excellent memoir and a riveting and haunting story....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  9. 5 out of 5

    ☯Lilbookworm☮

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Renee

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy Ross

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dara S.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alison Fisher

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

  20. 4 out of 5

    are_see_em

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Burge

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Everyone should read this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deb

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jemi Marchal

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Charland

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danel

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gloriane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

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