Devil's Potion Chapter Summary

Chapter 1 (1977-1978): Phoenix marries Anthony  

The story begins with love at first sight at The Rocky Horror Picture show.  The chapter concludes one year later with the honeymoon at a prostitute-filled hotel.  Phoenix grapples with the conflict raised by falling in love with Anthony versus continuing her education, with their love for each other prevailing.  She and Anthony face the challenge of wanting to get married when their parents think they’re too young, so they’re forced to wait until Phoenix’s eighteenth birthday to resolve this conflict and set up the next: being married at eighteen.

Chapter 2 (1978-1983): Anthony crashes motorcycle

This chapter focuses on the trials and tribulations of being married at eighteen and lacking an education; will love survive poverty and unfulfilled dreams?  Conflict over resources and Anthony and Phoenix’s apparent inability to realize the American Dream are suddenly overshadowed by issues of mortality when Anthony is seriously injured in a motorcycle crash two weeks after their fifth anniversary.

Chapter 3 (1983-1987): Anthony contracts HIV 

Anthony survives the crash, which brings him and Phoenix closer, and they decide to start a family.  But concerns over the medicine Anthony received to treat his mild hemophilia while in the hospital eventually lead our heroes to a life-altering discovery: Anthony is positive for HIV.

Chapter 4 (1987-1993): Anthony contracts AIDS 

Phoenix tests negative and our heroes make the best of a difficult situation: learning how to live with HIV.  Finally living parts of the American Dream, Anthony and Phoenix celebrate their fifteenth anniversary only to begin their inescapable descent into the world of AIDS two weeks later as Anthony suddenly manifests the full-blown illness.

Chapter 5 (1993-1995): Anthony contracts MAI  

The first phase of the illness is devastating: Anthony is rendered unable to see, think, walk, or care for himself.  But through his hard work and Phoenix’s loving care, our heroes struggle back to a life near normalcy – but with important spiritual improvements.  Just as they decide this AIDS thing isn’t so bad after all, Anthony gets sicker.

Chapter 6 (1995-1998): Phoenix loses Anthony  

Our heroes can’t begin to fathom the hideousness that AIDS will expose them to over the next three years: seizures, wasting, chills, night sweats, diarrhea, diapers – hours of caregiving that become two and three days long.  The ugliness of the situation is exacerbated when the truth behind Anthony’s infection with AIDS comes to light.  But their love for each other reaches new levels, impacting even strangers that come in contact with this extraordinary couple.  When Anthony and Phoenix must finally face the fact that their love won’t be enough to conquer AIDS they make the most important discovery of all: that only love is real.

Devil’s Potion will occupy a unique position within the genre of the personal narrative both for its historical perspective at the origin of the AIDS pandemic and its universal message of love, hope, strength, and courage.

This web site was last updated on November 28, 2012. All contents are copyrighted by the author, Phoenix Niesley Lindgren and may not be used in any way without the author's written permission. ©2012 Phoenix Niesley Lindgren

Devil's Potion Home Meet the Author Contacts Chapter Summary Writing Sample   Order a Copy Dedication Page