Widow, Virgin, Vienna by Dina Lin Slaton

Abstract

Three different women with conflicting lifestyles and attitudes were thrown together due to a birth accident. Catherine and Dennis, lifelong friends, have been influenced by Dennis’s deviant sister, Darla, whose life-style causes friction at every turn. Encouraged and seemingly careless after being diagnosed with AIDS, Darla faces a grim reality when her condition becomes public knowledge and her friends abandon her.

Overview

While the subject is dark, and there can be no miraculous happy ending, it was a compelling read. The impact of Darula’s illness on the people around her – her sister, parents, daughter, and friends – has been taken seriously. The stark realities of a transient disease are not revealed, and the attitudes that AIDS patients experienced in the 1990s are clearly documented. All three women learn and grow in their own way, and find a way to face the future, whatever it may bring.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Why you’ll like it

A well-crafted picture of lives disrupted by AIDS, with convincing characters and situations believably described.

Why you won’t like it

The subject is difficult, and there is no happy ending. There are a few minor grammatical errors.