Title: My Memory Told Me a Secret
Author: Jeremy Bradley-Silverio Donato
Plot: Infused with a powerful message, this love story about two men from differing cultural backgrounds touches the heart and the mind in an exploration of trust and betrayal, rarely succumbing to trite idealism. Infected with HIV after the course of an intense liaison, one man discovers that passion is not a predictor of the future, while the other learns that guilt is a psychological destroyer.
Prose: Hard-hitting prose enhances this potent narrative in a seemingly effortless depiction of real life. Every direct word builds on the novel’s precarious foundation, a slow progression into an awakening for both protagonists when their relationship crumbles.
Originality: Stories that shine a spotlight on HIV have been written already, yet it is the careful rendering of this delicate plot that makes the book so high impact. Underlying the obvious warning about having unprotected sex with a new partner is an even more frightening prospect—unrequited love.
Character Development: Entangled in a quest for maternal acceptance, the portrayal of these mesmerizing main characters is alternately fortified and weakened by a familiar, often humorous, tendency to reach into childhood memories. The personalities emerge as troubled and insecure, maintaining a defensive distance from family.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10