Last week, I tackled April Fools’ Day, sharing writing prompts. I hope you found it helpful. Finding writing prompts that center around pranks and creativity is easy—but, as it turns out, finding books to read about April Fools’ is much harder. I purposely left this topic for after this so called holiday.
Other than children’s books, there isn’t much reading material focused on April Fools’. The holidays we celebrate most—Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and so on—all have a healthy collection of fiction themed after them. April Fools’ gets the short end of the stick.
But I didn’t give up. I wanted to find that one book that encompasses the theme of April Fools’—whether a general fiction book, a thriller, or a love story, I didn’t care. I just wanted something that told a story centered around April Fools’ Day.
And I found one—totally not what I expected. If not for its title, I probably would not have picked it up.
Ironically, the book is called April Fool’s Day. It was published in 1993 by Australian author Bryce Courtenay, but despite the title, it has nothing to do with the fun-loving pranks or practical jokes associated with the holiday. I was about to close the window and continue my search. Then, I realized that Courtenay’s book might have something better to offer than your run-of-the-mill April Fools’ Day pranks and hoaxes.
April Fool’s Day is Courtenay’s final gift to his son, Damon, a hemophiliac, dying of AIDS he contracted as a result of an infected blood transfusion. Damon died on the morning of April Fools’ Day.
As Bryce Courtenay honors his promise to his son, Damon, we get a book that focuses heavily on themes of love and forgiveness.
It may not be your average April Fools’ Day material, but it’s certainly a book to add to your reading list. Instead of focusing on pranks and jokes, perhaps it’s a good opportunity to remind ourselves what’s important on April Fools’. Now that’s an idea I can get behind!
Add this modern tragedy to your reading list—make patience, love and forgiveness your priority.