The Great Believers is a two part story that alternates between Chicago in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and Paris in 2015. The Chicago part focuses on Yale Tishman, a gay young man-his job, his friends and how he and his community were affected by the AIDS epidemic. The main character in the Paris sections is Fiona Marcus. Her brother was one of the first of Yale’s friends to die from AIDS, and because of this, she becomes a champion for gay equality. She is in Paris searching for her daughter and granddaughter.
It took me about fifty pages to get into The Great Believers. There are a lot of male characters, and, in the beginning, I kept mixing them up. However, once I was clear about who was who, I couldn’t stop reading. Stay with it; it’s well worth it. The Great Believers artistically depicts important issues and memorable characters.