“The Great Believers” Book Summary + Lessons + Inspiring Quotes

“The Great Believers” by” Rebecca Makkai” describes morality and illness in society.

The book is about a group of friends having some gay members in it and a daughter who is lost in Paris and searched by her mother. It also describes the outbreak of aids. 

“The Great Believers” Book Summary

“The Great Believers” is a novel by Rebecca Makkai that weaves together two narratives set in Chicago. The first narrative unfolds in the mid-1980s during the height of the AIDS epidemic, while the second narrative takes place in 2015, following the lives of characters who were affected by the epidemic.

In the 1980s storyline, the novel follows a group of friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago. They grapple with the devastating impact of AIDS on their lives and relationships while trying to find hope and meaning amidst the tragedy.

The 2015 storyline focuses on Fiona, a woman who was part of that earlier group of friends. She is on a mission to locate her estranged daughter while dealing with the legacy of the AIDS epidemic and the loss of many of her friends to the disease.

Makkai’s novel explores themes of love, friendship, loss, and the enduring impact of the AIDS epidemic on the LGBTQ+ community. It highlights the resilience and strength of individuals who faced discrimination, illness, and grief during a challenging time in history.

“The Great Believers” is a moving and emotionally charged work of historical fiction that has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of the AIDS epidemic and its lasting effects. It is a tribute to those who lived through the crisis and a testament to the power of love and community in the face of adversity.

Lessons from “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro is a dystopian novel that explores themes of love, identity, and the human condition. While it’s a work of fiction, it offers thought-provoking lessons:

  1. Questioning Humanity: The novel raises questions about what it means to be human and the ethical implications of scientific advancements.
  2. Relationships and Love: The central love story between Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy highlights the complexity and depth of human relationships, even in the face of dire circumstances.
  3. Accepting Fate: The characters in the story ultimately accept their fate, prompting readers to reflect on the concept of destiny and the choices we make in life.
  4. Seeking Truth: Kathy’s journey to uncover the truth about Hailsham and her own existence encourages readers to seek knowledge and confront uncomfortable truths.
  5. The Value of Memories: The novel underscores the importance of memories in shaping our identities and understanding our past.
  6. Ethical Dilemmas: “Never Let Me Go” prompts readers to grapple with ethical dilemmas related to cloning, organ harvesting, and the treatment of marginalized groups.
  7. Questioning Authority: The characters’ gradual questioning of the authorities and their refusal to accept their predetermined roles encourage readers to challenge authority when necessary.
  8. Individuality and Conformity: The tension between individuality and conformity is a recurring theme, prompting readers to consider the balance between fitting in and being true to oneself.
  9. Embracing Humanity: Despite their origins, the characters in the story exhibit a deep sense of humanity and emotion, reminding readers that humanity transcends circumstances.
  10. Loss and Grief: The novel explores the themes of loss and grief, prompting readers to contemplate how individuals cope with the inevitability of death.
  11. Reflection on Mortality: Kathy’s narration encourages readers to reflect on mortality and the fleeting nature of human existence.
  12. The Power of Narratives: The act of storytelling, as seen through Kathy’s perspective, serves as a way to process experiences and make sense of the world.

“Never Let Me Go” is a thought-provoking novel that delves into profound existential and ethical questions.

While it is a work of fiction, its lessons on the human experience, the pursuit of truth, and the complexities of love and identity resonate deeply with readers, encouraging contemplation and discussion on these timeless themes.

The Great Believers’ Quotes

– If you are a primary keeper of someone and when that someone goes, then letting go would be a kind of murder. 

– Sometimes, you are stuck with all your past love. 

– Being here in someone’s life and making room for someone in your life is the true meaning of friendship. 

– It would be so simple if we could be on earth in the same place and at the same time as everyone we loved, and it would be much better if we were born and died together. 

– That is a miracle if you are both born simultaneously and are in the same place on the planet. 

– Waiting for the world to come always unraveled matters. 

– Often, things hold together when it is temporary, and that separation hurts. 

– I would choose the end timeline if I am given the option of choosing a timeline to live on the earth. 

– You can never know someone else’s marriage, and you can use only your own, and even, in the end, you will realize that you know only half of the things about it. 

– Sometimes, tearing apart everything that was ever built is necessary. 

– Stupid violence is done by stupid people only. 

– Nobody talks about how long life it but everybody talks of how short life is. 

– When you live in the middle of history, you will hate it. 

– Remember, we make our mess, and we shouldn’t blame anyone for this. 

The Great Believers’ Quotes

– All our mistakes are magnified by the diseases we suffer. 

– At nineteen, you are stupid and make many stupid mistakes. 

– Everyone has some joy in their life, but they write something macabre when they write stories down the line. 

– Every story has a different ending, even if they seem to be the same. 

– A day can just cut your life into two. 

– Hatred is not the saddest part of love, but the failure of love is the saddest part of love. 

– The portions are small in the wonders of the world. 

– He wasn’t vanishing if you learned new details about someone and then he left. 

– Stocking to a selfish thought that this is not fair to her is most irritating sometimes. 

– You have nothing to do when you are in the middle of the story. 

– The self-correcting prejudice is ageism and nothing else. 

– You left the door open after you came from heaven so that he could go through that door. 

– The air doesn’t hurt anymore after it has been wintered for a long time. 

– We were happier and safer when there was this tiny window. 

– When we think of the beginning of something but the fact is that it is the end. 

– Friendship becomes different at the end of love, and it is true.

– She couldn’t make him understand that the city was a graveyard.

– The man standing at the end of the world will be the luckiest and unluckiest. 

– Sometimes, the person can change, and at the same time, he can’t let go of your initial conception. 

– When people leave, they take their reasons with them. 

– Even the love was complicated; I had so much love for him. 

– We get up each day because we believe we can keep it from happening again. 

– When you are in love, you are never reasonable.

– You will be thinking about the planet like no one, and you will miss out. 

– There will nothing be unique at the end of the world; it will just be standard stuff.

– Don’t fall apart over something that hasn’t happened yet. 

– You are afraid of everything after you are afraid of one thing.

– Although he couldn’t see the action on his screen, he was the one who is set in motion. 

– The fear of getting his heart broken is the governing factor of his life, and he started wondering about it.

– Sometimes, she is just an angry woman but fundamentally correct. 

– You can be miserable anywhere if you are going to be miserable. 

– I never thought that I could have a perfect life, and I feel like an idiot now. 

– Trauma wasn’t always the best glue and cannot last. 

– Things our parents haven’t experienced are already experienced by us, making us older than our parents.

– Books are very fair, so I knew they could save him.

– People are peculiar, and they accept it completely. 

– The windows never broke, but her heart was in the fragment at the end. 

– When you awake beside someone sleeping, it is the loneliest thing in the world. 

– When you are nine, you realize something, and you realize it again when you are ten. 

– Sometimes, your heart fills up with the lead. 

– In heaven, you can float through characters and books. 

– The century would have made more sense than the backward, and we ended worse, not where we began. 

– Some writers are thankful to their mothers for the editorial insights. 

– Everything is taken at face value in today’s world. 

– The tale of violet Saville Devohr was vague and underwhelming for a ghost story. 

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