A spare and beautiful memoir of family secrets and its consequences.While in her twenties, Janine Avril learned a shocking family secret, one that set her on a deeply personal journey into her past. Her earliest memory was of her mother complaining about a bizarre pain in her ankle, one she linked to a ski accident she’d been in as a young girl. When Janine was twelve, growing up in the wealthy and predominantly Jewish suburb of Roslyn, New York, her mother was diagnosed with a deadly cancer and died three years later. While a junior at Cornell University, Janine learned that her father, a popular French chef and entrepreneur, was sick with full-blown AIDS. It was nearly five years later when Janine received an unexpected phone call from her uncle, forcing her to re-evaluate her childhood. Inspired to understand as much as she could about her parents, she finally discovers a powerful link between her father and herself, and her past becomes illuminated like the nightlight that once protected her from the darkness of her youth. Janine Avril teaches high school English and has taught college writing at Brooklyn College and New York City College of Technology. Janine is the founder and host of Girlsalon, a forum for lesbian/queer writers to showcase their talents. She has been published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Velvetpark Magazine, and Topic Magazine for her piece “Eavesdropping” and featured in Time Out New York, Gay City News and www.lesbiannation.com. Janine’s Web sites are www.janinesays.com and www.girlsalon.org.