Tuesday 8 December 2020

Ripples From the Edge of Life by Roland Chesters @FromRipples BLOG TOUR @RandomTTours @SilverWoodBooks #Ripples


If, out of the blue, you were given just two weeks to live, how would you feel? What would you do? How would you prepare for the end? Who would you tell – and how?

This was the terrible position Roland Chesters found himself in in the late summer of 2006. He knew he was seriously ill – but had no idea he had both HIV and AIDS.

Luckily, Roland did not die. Expert medical help and his own determination not to give in saw him through. His life, though, had changed forever…

Ripples From the Edge of Life is Roland’s account of a life-changing diagnosis and its impact on him and those closest to him. More than a memoir, Roland’s story is not unique; ripples spread outwards, and this empowering collection gives voice to fourteen others who have survived similar traumatic diagnoses.

This book contains wisdom, hope, humour and inspiration in equal measure. It is an essential read for anyone living with a life-changing condition, and for those who support them.

Ripples From The Edge of Life by Roland Chesters was published in April 2018 by Silverwood Books. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Ripples is an extraordinary story from a man who thought he was just an ordinary guy. His detailed, honest and at times quite heart-breaking account of this life from the day that he was diagnosed with AIDS shows that he is no ordinary man. Roland details a roller-coaster journey from the depths of despair and the contemplation of taking his own life, through the battles with his employers and how he is now a leading campaigner. It is incredibly well written, it can be rage inducing when one realises just how ignorant and cruel people can be, but it is also a heartwarming tale of hope and most of all, of love.

Roland had been feeling ill for a long time, when his doctor suggested that he take an HIV test, he was happy to do so. He'd had two long-term partners in his life. He and his current partner Richard were loyal, neither of them had slept around, or taken drugs, and were not in the high-risk category. The shock of a positive diagnosis was astounding. Whilst Roland took to his bed, feeling so poorly that he didn't really care if he died right now, Richard took charge of their lives. What an amazing man he is, it is clear that without Richard by his side, Roland may never have found the strength to overcome the diagnosis, let along build a fabulous, fulfilling life afterwards. 

The author includes pieces from Richard and their close friends in the book, and these are full of love for Roland. 

Also included in the latter part of the book are true life experience from other men and women, also HIV positive and these make for diverse and fascinating reading too.

It has been a real pleasure to discover Roland through his words. Ripples is an educating and sobering look at life with HIV, and also goes a long way to dispel the myths created, especially by the media, of just what HIV and AIDS are. 

Highly recommended, an eloquent and moving book. 

Roland Chesters was born in the north of England to an English father and French mother and has lived most of his life in London. He graduated from the Royal Holloway College with a degree in Modern Languages and after a variety of jobs joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a language-testing specialist. Following a diagnosis of HIV and AIDS in 2006, he became a campaigner for disability rights. He is now a self-employed Disability Development Consultant and has his own company, Luminate.

Roland lives with his partner, Richard, in London and enjoys opera, classical music, theatre and fashion (his favourite item of clothing being a bright red corduroy suit). He fights boredom and normality with gusto, and says he is at his best when he’s made a positive impact on someone else’s life.

Twitter @FromRipples

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