MORNING-GLORY BABIES: Children with AIDS and the Celebration of Life by Tolbert McCarroll

MORNING-GLORY BABIES: Children with AIDS and the Celebration of Life

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sensitively written, deeply moving account of a year in the daily life of the members of the Starcross Monastic Community in California and of the AIDS-stricken infants they cared for. This is a work, as Randy Shilts (And the Band Played On) points out in his introduction, that leaves the reader hopeful for the survival of compassion and gentleness in our time. In February 1986, the three members of the small lay Catholic group (including leader and now author McCarroll), seeing a TV-news report on children with AIDS being relegated to hospital wards, decided to do something to alleviate the suffering by providing home care for the tiny victims. McCarroll and his two ""sisters,"" Marti Aggeler and Julie De Rossi, set about learning all they could about the disease, and then approached medical and social-service agencies about placing some of the children, most of them only a few weeks old, into their care. They met resistance not only from the bureaucrats but also from some of their own neighbors in rural California; how these dedicated men and women, all members of the once-flower-child generation, succeed makes for a compelling and heartwarming tale. McCarroll goes on to tell of the lives of the three children whom the trio nurtured and loved on their somewhat ramshackle farm: Rachel, Melissa, and Aaron, who ""The day before. . . [he] died. . . cut his first tooth."" Each child's personality is captured in strikingly vivid images and the effect is both joyous and heartbreaking. From its haunting title to its final reaffirmation of the human spirit, an unforgettable document bursting with the fullness of human life.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's