20th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Book Awards – Judge’s Evalution
Entry Title: By His Own Blood
Author: John Montandon
Judge Number: 55
Books were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Character Development (if applicable): 5
What did you like best about this book?
The medical and legal aspects of this absorbing true story can have a substantial impact on readers as they grasp all its shocking implications. The story, which takes place in the late 1980’s in Texas, recounts how unnecessary surgery and use of tainted HIV blood, led the author’s father to become an AIDs victim. However, the family had great difficulty in getting the father, who was not gay - admitted to hospitals for treatment due to the stigma attached to AIDS at the time. As it turned out the medical personnel involved with the father’s initial surgery and post-operation care then did a cover-up over their using blood they should have known was tainted. The ensuing court case led to a settlement. The book also covers, in great and often vivid detail, the life of the father, his wife, and the author. How they all handled the tragedy makes for poignant reading. The different personalities come across with great insight and sensitivity. The prejudices of the period in rural Texas, both involving AIDS and those suspected of being homosexuals, are also strongly depicted.