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First Comes Love
by Marion Winik
ISBN 0679445722 / 9780679445722 / 0-679-44572-2
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This memoir from Marion Winik, a commentator for National Public Radio and the author of Telling, a collection of autobiographical essays, begins in 1983 with Winik, just 24, anesthetizing herself after a break-up via vodka and a mixture of hard drugs. Though strong-willed, she seems to lack strength of character. She flounders from one mistake to the next, offering wise observations, but never attempting to thwart her streak of self-destruction. Her marriage to a gay man with HIV sets the course for change--she kicks her addictions and ultimately assists in her ravaged husband's suicide. Through an HIV wives support group, as well as through altercations with her in-laws, she comes to learn how strong she really is. [via]