The Most Touching Book You Will Read All Year - Arkansas

As I read this book, I could not help but notice how humble this woman was, and how very much she adored her son. So much so, that she became immersed in a community that during the early 1980's,  and throughout the 1990's,  was hit hard with tragic losses. This lady gave the ultimate sacrifice, even at the expense of her own wellbeing. Her love and devotion to her son, and to the community of which he was a part, should be a beacon for anyone who struggles with what it means to serve others.

Snippets of Humanity - a reader in India

Being a mother myself, my heart broke at the end of the book, but was in the process of breaking from the beginning - knowing what the inevitable outcome would be.  That said, I still found it so very uplifting, considering how this book shows the only way possible to deal with such a tragedy. The many, many stories, given in snapshots throughout the book - remind us that there is no such thing as a "personal and private" story, but that we all share in the human condition.  Ms. Wagman gives us enough background to understand what the conditions were, enough personal insight to feel what she was going through, and enough other viewpoints to realize how universal her story is - all within one book that is knit together so well that it feels like a series of letters from a close friend.

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Peter - San Francisco

Ms. Wagman has so eloquently told of the early years of HIV/AIDS, and when learning of her own son's diagnosis,  reaching out to help others as a way to deal with her own grief to come.  I believe she has touched on so many levels; helping the reader by bringing them into her own world as she saw it. I could not put the book down. Thank you to Ms. Wagman, in addition to sincere sympathies. You have helped more than you know.

Lori - California

'Snippets' is a wonderfully written book about the history of AIDS in Houston, and the triumph of a mother's love.  Freda Wagman tells the story of the loss of her own son, while recounting the people she worked with as an AIDS volunteer.  It's warm, human and informative.  I couldn't put this book down - the pages just seemed to float by.  Don't miss reading this one!

A magazine journalist in Houston

Other Reviews 

Bea from Michigan

What a wonderful and empathetic soul the author is and so giving to others in desperate need of love and care.  The account of the saddening travails of her own son, Gary, brought me to tears.  Perhaps only a mother can feel and understand what those people were (and are) going through and what looms in their future.  An important true story.


An Inspiring True Story! - George

This story of passion and hard work for the AIDS cause, and for those who became infected, is the story of a volunteer angel, doing her best in the face of knowing that the odds are all against her.  Living through each individual tragedy and still being able to help is a mental and physical challenge that few people could manage.  This part of the story will give others the courage to persist and assist.  The other part of the story, the personal relationship with her son, Gary, is simply inspiring.


Putting a Face on HIV

Snippets from the Trenches is a compelling story documenting a frontline hero's struggle in the war against HIV/AIDS.  Ms. Wagman walks you through the life of caring for people living with HIV in the early days of the epidemic. For those of us who were there it is a warm and personal journey back in time, when the best and often only thing that one had to offer was acceptance and love for those who were receiving so little, and Ms. Wagman gave so freely. But the most beautiful part of this story is the way she weaves her work as a volunteer with her personal crisis of losing the love of her life - her son. The closing pages will touch any heart where she gently shares with the reader her most intimate moments. This is a story that has needed to be told - a story that is exceptionally well told.

Therapist from Houston

A compelling piece reminding us of both the tragedies and triumphs of a desperate period in the life of the gay community. The author's vivid account brings to life the highly personal experience of those who so bravely rose to the crushing needs in a time of fear, panic, and cruelty. It was a time when the only hope for thousands rested in the hands of a few kind and loving people who were brave and compassionate enough to care for desperate people abandoned by all others.


Ms. Wagman tells this heart wrenching story in a way so compelling as to make it difficult to put the book down. Her writing is colored by the love and angst of a mother soon to lose her beloved son; a mother whose only refuge from personal pain was to care for others in great need.  Reading 'Snippets' awakened poignant memories of the reality of that time and of the volunteers who gave so much.


AIDS Through a Mother's Eyes

I read this memoir almost straight through, and was very engrossed by it. It was different from other AIDS memoirs in that it focused not so much on the person who had AIDS as on the ways in which two cities, one known for its gay population and the other not, came to understand the epidemic and to form communities to deal with it. I thought the bond between the author and her son came off strongly, and I admired both of them, her for working with other people with AIDS in Houston and he for keeping going right up to the end, even training the successor to his job.

Author of The Memoir Project
The book you sent me is wonderfully written.  I'm not a bit surprised that it was awarded a medallion at Book Expo America.

A reader in Canada
One of the most heartfelt, poignant books about a mother's courage in the face of her son's fatal illness, that I have ever read.  How the author became an activist in helping those with AIDS get through the most difficult of life's challenges, that of having a decent quality of life until finally succumbing, is a story that will move you deeply. A must read.


Mankind's Will to Live

This powerful memoir strips away all prejudices, and lays open the base of human suffering while fighting a devastating disease, and the untold damage inflicted to individuals by denying them basic human rights. A mother's unconditional love for her son, and the journey of death she must travel with him is heart wrenching.  A must read for anyone who believes in the power of love.  Extraordinarily inspiring as it reveals the strength of mankind's will to live, no matter the circumstances.

Remarkable Memoir - reader from Oregon

The author's memory is incredible. How can she remember such details about things that happened so long ago? They must have really made an impression on her to be able to so eloquently express them with such voice and empathy.  I was very impressed by the organization of the book and a realization of what an intensely personal situation it is to experience a life with AIDS.

What a wonderful relationship Ms. Wagman had with her son.  This is a touching book that allows us all to understand how all people deserve patience, dignity, and compassion.


Honest & Courageous Human Connection
As a Social Worker, I have come to recognize the normalizing power behind reading an individual's memoir. Ms. Wagman has provided this gift with the telling of her experience facing the unknown while honoring her son and their relationship. The author's level of honesty and vulnerability provide an astonishing opportunity to know that while we may not enjoy every step in life's journey, we do hold the capacity to gain strength and perspective while moving along the path.