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There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's…

There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's…

by Melissa Fay Greene

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    It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine's Path to Peace by Rye Barcott (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both books are about people who see a need in Africa and go about fixing it.

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Having read Melissa Fay Greene book "No Biking in the House Without a Helmet" I was quite interested in finding out about the way she actually found the foster mother in Ethopia, who saved all these children.

It was a very good book, but some of the scientific, economic and political explanations went a bit over my head. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it and said he would give it at least 4.5 stars. ( )
  yukon92 | Sep 13, 2014 |
Set in Ethiopa over the past 15 years with a cast of AIDS orphans and a private individual attempting to help them, this book reveals the challenges AIDS presents in the third world. Though she sometimes stumbles in her narrative and transitions, Greene does an admirable job of conveying the needs of the AIDS orphans she depicts. She is clearly very invested in the issue, having adopted one herself! I was particularly intrigued by the section on the possible role of African injection hygiene on the development and spread of AIDS. I guess i haven't been following the news, because I had never heard of this, but it is an intriguing theory. The development of her main character Haregewoin (from bereaved mother to adoptive mother to adoption advocate to activist) is interesting, though sometimes a bit two dimensional. I sort of wished that Haregewoin could keep to her early role and only try to help as many children as she could love. ( )
  CynthiaBelgum | Jul 12, 2013 |
In some ways, this book is overambitious. The author attempts to tell three intertwined stories: AIDS in Africa/Ethiopia, one woman's efforts, and much more peripherally, the author's adoption of two Ethiopian children. However, these strands are not balanced and don't ultimately braid together in a satisfying and even way, though it's sufficient. Less well-executed is the narrative voice, which cannot find its genre--is it reportage, indignant essay, or fiction? It's not intended to be fiction, but the frequent interior monologues and statements about how people other than the author (who is also a character) feel and what they're thinking are incredibly jarring and decrease my belief in the story's veracity. They raise questions about Greene's assumptions. Since many of these putatively nonfictional passages rely on pathos, they're particularly intrusive. The audiobook version features swelling emo instrumental riffs at especially poignant moments, which was startling and annoying.

Someone must tell Greene that "lowly" does not have a primary meaning of "quietly" or "in a low voice," but "humbly." She uses it several times.

These criticisms aside, it's an engaging and maybe even important book, probably an accessible way to interest a book group in AIDS prevention and intervention in Africa. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Melissa Fay Greene tells the story of Haregewoin Tererra, a woman of modest means,
who opens her house and home to AIDS orphans. Nothing is ever simple in Ethiopia, and
this story is not either. To Green's credit, she tell's the story as truthfully as she
can. On my flight to Ethiopia, the plane is full of young families (almost always white,
it seems to me) heading to Addis to adopt orphaned children. And on the plane home, you
can see without a doubt that these children are going to be smothered in love and affection,
pampered in ways that will be the polar opposite of their life in Addis. But, still, there
is something in me that keeps me from getting my head totally around the adoption process.
These children are ripped from their entire culture and placed in another. I'm not sure
that is always the best idea. This book wrestles with these problems and issues. I found
it immensely though provoking. ( )
  co_coyote | Aug 16, 2011 |
Melissa Fay Greene read an article about the incredibly high incidence of orphans in Ethiopia, a country riddled with AIDS which was killing adults and destroying families. She and her husband decided to adopt one of the children. In traveling to Ethiopia to arrange for an adoption she discovered that there were very, very few orphanages, but that one of them was run by a widow from her tiny house without any government support or aid from anyone. Out of her investigation arose this book.

Melissa Greene not only writes well, but carefully informs the reader about the onset, possible treatments, world reaction, and Ethiopia's response to HIV and AIDS, all the while telling the story of Hargoin and the many, many, many children she takes in, feeds, clothes, loves, schools, and eventually helps find new parents for. To take in these children would be hard enough for someone with background in NGOs, but Hargoin had none--just a big, loving heart. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Aug 8, 2011 |
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Offers a revealing study of the human cost of the AIDS pandemic in Africa in a portrait of Haregewoin Teferra, a widowed recluse in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who has become the caretaker of sixty children orphaned and abandoned by the AIDS crisis.

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