Book Review: Ripples from the Edge of Life by Roland Chesters


I thought I was well informed about HIV and AIDS until I read Roland Chester’s well written and informative memoir “Ripples from the Edge of Life.”

Roland also made me question how I would react if I was told I only had a short time left on this good Earth?

Book Synopsis

If, out of the blue, you were given just two weeks to live, how would you feel? What would you do? How would you prepare for the end? Who would you tell – and how?

This was the terrible position Roland Chesters found himself in in the late summer of 2006. He knew he was seriously ill – but had no idea he had both HIV and AIDS.

Luckily, Roland did not die. Expert medical help and his own determination not to give in saw him through. His life, though, had changed forever…

Ripples From the Edge of Life is Roland’s account of a life-changing diagnosis and its impact on him and those closest to him. More than a memoir, Roland’s story is not unique; ripples spread outwards, and this empowering collection gives voice to fourteen others who have survived similar traumatic diagnoses.

This book contains wisdom, hope, humour and inspiration in equal measure. It is an essential read for anyone living with a life-changing condition, and for those who support them.

My Review

Roland Chesters had been feeling unwell for some time, when he was diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in 2006. He had a monogamous relationship with his partner Richard, and had only one previous partner. His diagnosis was life changing.
In “Ripples,” he takes his readers on a journey through his diagnosis and treatment, his struggles to continue full time work as a language testing specialist, the effects of treatment on his mental, emotional and physical well being, and his work in empowering others with chronic illness.
He includes statements from both Richard and his friends, as well as stories from both men and women who are living and thriving despite HIV.
I found this book to be very enlightening on the challenges of those diagnosed with HIV, the progress in treatment plans, the support groups that help plan a way forward, the myths and stigma that still persist in society, who to tell and who perhaps not to tell…
It is a book to be read slowly as it provides much food for thought. Highly Recommended.



  1. Thank you Brigid, this sounds right up my street, so I shall have to search it out. I follow a blog called “As Time Goes By” which has a similar theme to this book. I’m not sure whether you have come across it or not, but I recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brigid, a thoughtful review of Roland’s wide-reaching book and one that can teach us lessons and the way forward whatever difficulties we face in life. I like the sound of the added dimension of input from his partner and others living with HIV.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A tough provoking review, Brigid and it was lovely to hear that the book includes an input for others who were also affected by the prognosis. I know how we felt when our daughter had a terminal prognosis and I am sure it was much the same as anybody whose family is faced with a terminal prognosis 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this review. I am also an advocate for HIV awareness in my country Philippines. I will surely find this in the bookstore. Meanwhile, I wrote my experience on joining the fundraiser for PLHIV: I hope you also read this and discuss things to me so we can help each other be educated about this illness. More powers!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s