Chanda’s Secrets

by Allan Stratton

Brief Summary: Set in Sub-Saharan Africa, Chanda’s Secrets addresses HIV/AIDS and the lasting and devastating affect just a whisper of possible infection can have upon family and friends. For Chanda, this is the story of her friends and family, and how she – a girl of 16 – just wants to hold everything together.

Kell’s Chatty Review: Chanda’s Secrets really is emotionally devastating, for what are probably obvious reasons. The writing is fantastic – everything is put on the page deliberately and for a reason and the emotional subject matter is handled extremely well.

The glimpse: of everyday life in Sub-Saharan Africa is fascinating in and of itself. From the family politics to the traditional doctors, Stratton does an amazing job bringing this far away continent to life on the page.

Obviously: the most important aspect of this book is the look at the stigma of HIV/AIDs and the care of HIV/AIDs patients in places that carry this terrible stigma. What was really interesting, however, was how slowly the mention of HIV/AIDs was in the book – which really drove home the point that it is a topic NOT discussed.

This one is hard: to write a breezy review of because, even though it is fiction, the problem is real. Which is devastating.

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: do something to help

Where this book came from: the library

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