Somewhere Along the Way by Kathleen Knowles

An enlightened emotional rollercoaster

What was the book about?
With the backdrop of an AA meeting, Max (Maxine) stands and takes us through her life story beginning at the time she arrived in San Francisco in 1981. This is a raw, moving journey of one woman’s redemption. Max and her best friend Chris (Christopher) set out to make a better life for themselves, leaving Cleveland for the more open city of San Francisco. The change of city is not what they expect at all and Max and Chris are front and center of this horrible and heart destroying time when Chris contracts AIDS. Max’s addictions eventually pulls their friendship apart and they suffer catastrophically. The choices that Max has to make at this time decides her future and whether it will be a long or short one. 

Featured Tropes:
Redemption, historical

Book Strengths:
For me this book was a slow start but once I was hooked, I couldn’t put it down. Even though I was well aware of the havoc and destruction that AIDS created in the early 1980s, reading this brought it all back. I cried, I yelled and wanted Max to prevail all the way through the book. The rawness will touch you and make you think. The other characters which Max meets all have a profound effect on her life. Her choices are her own and how she finds redemption is profound.

Book Weaknesses:
None. Just make sure you have a box of tissues in easy reach.

Heat Rating

Wrap up
This book affected me deeply. For me there were two stories, of course the main one of Max and her life, her choices and her future but also one of AIDS and is awful affect it had on a generation. After finishing this book, I remembered two men I met in Sydney at a hotel I worked at in 1986, one from SF the other from Sydney. The guy from Sydney was not well at all but we tried to help him as much as possible. About a month after they left the hotel, we received a bouquet of flowers thanking us for our help and letting us know that he had died. 

This is a time in history we should never forget.

Star Rating:

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