Wow! I really can not say enough good things about this book! I finished it in less than 24 hours. I could not put it down. Makkai has a way of drawing you in with the characters and you feel as though they are your friends, you care so deeply for them… you celebrate for them, you cry for them, and most importantly you have hope for them. The book focuses on the AIDS epidemic in the mid 1980s. I had an uncle who passed away from the virus in 1991 so the subject matter is close to my heart..but I was just a baby and didn’t know any details. Reading this book opens your eyes to how heartbreaking the virus truly is. There is no fairytale ending but I love that the author wrote it that way. To give a fairytale ending would have been a disservice to those who have experienced the monster that is HIV/AIDS. The imagery this book provides is masterful as is the character development. The Great Believers has a 4.2 rating on GoodReads.