The gathering darkness ISBN: 185882933
Fox, Paula
Published by Orion Dolphin, 1995

Liam is almost 14, beginning to feel the stirrings of love, and at an age when he needs his father's presence - only dad has been living for the past year a two hour bus ride away from Liam's New York City home. He has AIDS, and Liam is torn apart by the lies he has been told and the need to understand. His mother has said that the HIV virus came from a blood transfusion, but Liam cannot forget seeing his dad embracing another man on a beach when they were on holiday. This is an intelligent and perceptive account of a family's battle with AIDS and with the highly emotional situation this brings to all concerned. It is not a happy book - the death scene is very realistic - but great truth is here. Liam's mum cannot come to terms with the fact of her husband's lover, and Liam is full of resentment and anger, but love and pity too. The awful Aunt Mary serves as a deus ex machina in expressing many of the general perceptions about AIDS and also as a foil to Liam and his mum. This is a mature novel. The love interest is slight, but delicately handled. A story to haunt the reader for a long time to come.
Age: 11+