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  The Mothers' Group
BOOKS

The Mothers’ Group: Of Love, Loss and AIDS
(2006)

This book touches upon many topics including love, homosexuality, the loss of an adult child, prejudice against gay people, and recovery from unfathomable grief. In 1983, many parents turned their backs on their children stricken with AIDS, while a few, including Suzanne Loebl, rallied to their side. When HIV infected Suzanne’s son David, she joined a support group that came to be known as The Mothers’ Group.

The Mothers' Group is a story of love and courage that chronicles the lives of its members as they fiercely and tenderly stand by their children. They quietly submerge their own grief, confront a hostile world, and deal with complex medical issues. Most of all, they help their progeny enjoy whatever time they have left and provide an anchor amidst fear and despair. When these women come to the Tuesday night meeting of the group, they let their terror, grief and frustration flow freely.

The Mothers’ Group, a memorial to Suzanne’s son David, is a testimonial to the effectiveness and healing power of self-help groups. It demonstrates how women, linked only by the common fate of their children, managed to face insurmountable problems of life and death.


Reviewers Comments:

“A mother explores her grief and finds strength in a group of women whose children have all been diagnosed with HIV…[Suzanne] immediately put her questioning aside and devoted herself to David’s care…But caring for an adult son is a delicate ordeal, and Loebl was wary of suffocating him. In a rich exploration of the competing priorities of motherhood, Loebl recalls the need to be strong for David while simultaneously hiding her own depression.

“With disarmingly direct, unsentimental prose, the author makes her grief palpable…as [her son] forges ahead in relationships; in work and in his love of theater and dance…Through her nuanced analysis of the psychology of others—from her son and husband to the kaleidoscope of women in her support group—the author reveals plenty of herself as well.

“A testament to the restorative power of empathy and the unique gift of understanding that women can bring to each other.”

—Kirkus Discovery Reviews

“Suzanne Loebl’s story is a poignant portrait of a mother’s unconditional love rising above the tragedy of an illness that brought the end of life to her son and to so many of his generation. A must read for anyone who has cared for or lost a family member to AIDS.”

Robert B. Saper, M.D., M.P.H., Boston University School of Medicine
“Suzanne Loebl is our guide on this journey into the hellish world of AIDs from the late 70s to the early 90s…when Suzanne joined The Mothers’ Group. We meet women whose stories rend the heart. Because Loebl is such a great writer, the fears, hopes, anger, desperation and self-accusation of these women reach the reader in their full force. In the end, it is the sheer humanity of the AIDS sufferers and the mothers that make this book memorable.”
George McCauley, Teacher, Theologian, Author of Eddie’s Dream

“…The Mothers' Group…is a story of courage and realism…I hope it will help many who are still frozen in their grief. I am sure they will find it hard to read…but it is in itself a vehicle of healing. I can attest to that."

Ruth Hall, Sister of the Community of Saint Francis Director, The Family Link

The Mothers' Group takes us on a journey with a group of devoted mothers in their struggle to cope with the AIDS illness…This inspirational book reminds us of what is truly valuable in our lives.”

—Phyllis Steinberg, President, PFLAG NYC


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