The author Greene has succeeded in weaving two stories together and write a good book about it.
One story is the history of HIV/Aids and the search for a medicine and the attitude of the mighty and rich pharmaceutical companies and political perspectives of the countries in Africa and the socalled West. Part of this story is also the history of Ethiopia. Greene has written this all in a very clear way.
The other story is about the main character of this book: Haregewoin Teferra, an Ethiopian woman from the capital city. She belongs to the middle class and through contacts with people in her environment she gets into contact with the devestation of HIV/Aids. Her husband passes away and she is left behind with her two daughters. For a long time she lives in Cairo with one of her daughters. During that time her other daughter in Addis Abeba falls ill and she moves back to Ethiopia to take care of her ailing daughter. After a short while her daughter passes away and she gets more and more involved with children who lost their parents. Some of these children have been infected. Children are being braought to her house by police, by the area council, by familymembers who do not have the opportunity to take care of these children themselves. And all the time Haregewoin opens her arms, her house her heart.
Her former circle of friends does not approve of what she does, but a few of them stay close to her. She gets into contact with a foreign organisations that handles adoptions. In this way some of the children get a good family to live with. Through these contacts from abroad she also gets some funds. This makes some people in her neighbourhood jealous.
This book does not have a ‘happy end’, except for the children who get adopted, but even with these children a lot of care and wisdom is needed, because many of these adopted children have been traumatized. The ‘happy end'(?) is all the other difficult situations, all these other children who are left on their own, not just in Ethiopia, but also in other countries.
The writer has travelled to Ethiopia many times, and throughout the years she has kept in touch with Haregewoin. She and her husband adopted children from Ethiopia.
Melissa Fay Greene – There is no me without you: one woman’s odyssey to rescue Africa’s children – New York 2006