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.
Date Submitted: August 22, 2019
‘Following an emotional breakup with a younger, troubled man, an STI screening reveals Austin has contracted HIV. This book is as much an account of the relationship fallout and the aftermath of the diagnosis as it is an examination of misunderstandings between two men from vastly different backgrounds.’ — Elizabeth Wenger, Manhattan Book Review
My Memory Told Me a Secret is a work of social issues-based fiction focusing on LGBTQ themes and was penned by author Jeremy C Bradley-Silverio Donato. Written for adults due to its sometimes explicit language and some sexual references, this harrowing interpersonal drama begins when we meet Austin and Noah. The tumults and complexities of their relationship come to a head when Austin discovers he has contracted HIV, which in turn sets off a journey of emotional suffering, the breakdown of relationships, and a deep exploration of what it means to live with the condition and its effects on a person’s identity.
Author Jeremy C Bradley-Silverio Donato does not shy away from the raw and powerfully emotive truths about living with a devastating condition like HIV. His narration allows you into the minds of the two main protagonists, particularly Austin during his discovery and the fallout from the revelation. It’s interesting to see the impact which society and judgments around the two men have on both their relationship and their personal feelings about each other, and this aspect is masterfully woven into action and dialogue rather than being thrown at you and disrupting the reading experience. Attention to detail is also key, painting beautiful word pictures that often juxtapose the harrowing emotional moments which are happening, and give all those little touches which make a story seem truly real. Overall, My Memory Told Me a Secret is a highly recommended read for fans of deep personal dramas and social commentary in fiction.
An astounding work of contemporary fiction, My Memory Told Me a Secret focuses on issues core to LGBTQ identity, but also issues that affect every reader. Austin and Noah’s relationship is a heartfelt and sometimes harrowing account that will be relatable to anyone in a relationship, as each character and each moment is so well-drawn. Far from being a mere issue-laden novel, it touches on universal issues such as the devastation of illness, broken friendships, and how people tend to show or lose their humanity in times of crisis, written with great empathy and keen observation.
My Memory Told Me a Secret is a number 1 hot new release on the Amazon chart.
Jeremy Bradley-Silverio Donato was interviewed by Breakaway Daily International, an arts magazine based in Canada.
Jeremy Bradley-Silverio Donato was recently interviewed in IndieCorner.net
Learn more about his writing process.