WASHINGTON, D.C., January 24, 2006-"All
I Ever Did Was Love a Man" is a love story with a powerful message. The novel
takes the reader through a woman's lifelong search for love and the continual
failures that she encounters in her search. The heroine, Sabrena, is torn between
her need to take care of her two daughters following her recent divorce and
her desire to be loved by a man. This is a story of betrayal, pain, love, loss
and triumph infused with intrigue and mystery as she searches to find the source
of her most daunting challenge.
"All I Ever Did Was Love a Man" is so much more than the typical love story.
This story has an underlying health message that grabs the reader and runs throughout
the novel without ever becoming a traditional health book. "I didn't want to
write a health book-very few people read health books from cover to cover. I
wanted to write a novel that was fun, captivating and held your interest but
snuck the health message on you and once trapped would spur you to read more,"
says the author, Sharon Allison-Ottey of the novel and this new genre. Readers
learn about HIV/AIDS by watching Sabrena's life from her emotional diagnosis,
her gripping prayers for mercy and healing, her guilt and shame, her disdain
for medications, her need to live for her daughters and her continued need for
love. The book puts issues that are never discussed on the table such as sexuality
post diagnosis, the role of a friend and family dynamics.
The messages that are conveyed break down the stereotypes that we continue to
cling to about HIV/AIDS including the "face" of the persons diagnosed. This
book gives not only the reader a view of the main character in dealing with
her diagnosis; you look at her friends, her family and yes-her lover. The story
is rich with emotions and stands as a fiction novel that merits reading by all
age groups and lovers of the romance genre. The health message in the story
demands national attention by the young and old. The author cleverly inserts
a personal letter to each of her readers at the end of the story which demands
increased personal attention to HIV/AIDS. Further, the final pages are full
of health information, statistics on HIV/AIDS and general health tools that
can be used no matter what the diagnosis or condition by all persons. Sharon
Allison-Ottey says her novel as "fiction with a purpose" carrying a message
that can be easily understood without bogging the reader down in medical "mumbo
jumbo". The author is introducing a new genre to the world of fiction; one that
both entertains and teaches in a way that is unique and impactful.