To Rachel, there’s no one in the world like her uncle Jake. Handsome and mysterious, he fills her with stories, sends postcards and gifts from exotic places. And he’s so much more fun to be with than her parents, who are always fighting. When she learns he’s gay, she keeps it under wraps. And when he gets sick, she doesn’t even tell her best friends. Until she realizes that secrecy is doing more harm than good.
Framed by the passions of the 1960s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, Just Like February begins with the wedding of Rachel’s parents when she’s five and ends with her sexual awakening as Jake is dying. As this poignant coming-of-age story unfolds, Rachel is forced to reckon with a home broken by the stormy love between her mother (a social worker) and her father (a Vietnam veteran) and a heart broken by the realities of homophobia and AIDS.
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