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The Great Believers

By Rebecca Makkai
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description


Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler

“A page turner . . . An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.” —The New York Times Book Review
A dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Named a Best Book of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, The Seattle Times, Bustle, Newsday, AM New YorkBookPageSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lit HubPublishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, New York Public Library and Chicago Public Library 

144 Reviews

Loudly Crying Face“I finally finished the book and I was heartbroken. The ending was kinda of perfect, with the group of friends pictured as innocent as their young age, still not aware of the tragedy that was going to happen and the mistakes they would make. I was sad, angry, but still I loved those flawed human characters.”
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersEasy to readHeartbreakingHistorically-accurateImmersive settingRealistic settingWell-researchedInformativeThought-provoking
Loudly Crying Face“It’s actually been a while since I’ve read this book but I do still think about it sometimes. I didn’t cry while reading it but about 10 minutes after I suddenly started crying and then quietly cried for about 30 minutes (while trying to squish the book on my shelf). I don’t have many thoughts as side from that the current day story line did very little for me it didn’t have to be there I don’t think.”
PoeticTragicMade me cry
Slightly Smiling Face“I felt very attached to Yale and Fiona, I wanted them both to find happiness and be worthy of the love they deserve. I feel for Fiona as everyone she loved pretty much left her in a way, like her daughter moving away without telling her also joining a cult, her brother died, Yale + Terrance died. A story of loss, love/family, pain and memories of the past. Would loved to know how Asher went moving to New York. Bill Lindsay’s - not a fan of him in the end.”
Characters change and growColorful personalitiesBeautifully writtenComplexDescriptiveHeartbreakingMemorableOver-hypedToo long
Loudly Crying Face“a book that i am sure i will stay thinking about for some time. i was fully immersed by the characters and i thought the two plots were done quite well. solid read.”
Characters change and growLikable charactersRelatable charactersHeartbreakingHistorically-accurateWell-researchedHeartbreakingInsightfulMeaningfulMoving
Thinking Face
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersDescriptive writingRealistic settingThought-provoking

About Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the author of The Borrower, The Hundred-Year House, which won the Novel of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, and Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Harper's, and Tin House, among others. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

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