Olivia Donatelli's dream of a "normal" life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn't speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died.
Now she's alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son's short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her own loss brings Anthony alive again for Olivia in a most unexpected way.
Beth Ellis's entire life changed with a simple note: "I'm sleeping with Jimmy." Fourteen years of marriage. Three beautiful daughters. Yet even before her husband's affair, she had never felt so alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing bridge back to herself.
In a piercing story about motherhood, autism, and love, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of change and the irrepressible young boy whose unique wisdom helps them both find the courage to move on." (chapters.ca)
Lisa Genova, with a PhD. in neuroscience, writes about the most interesting topics. Each of her books focuses on a disease or ailment and she does an amazing job of portraying what it must be like to have that disease/ailment. This story was a little bit different from her other two, but she uses autism to tell the story of two women and their lives. Each has experienced such different obstacles and joys in their life and the way Genova brought them together was very interesting.
I am always in awe after reading one of Genova’s books. I feel as though I understand autism a little better now after reading her book, even if it is a fiction novel, and it makes you realize that things are not always as they seem. We look for certain cues for how someone is feeling, what they feel toward us, etc. and this book makes you realize that not all cues are visible. It is really an incredible story and I urge you to give it a try. Also read her other novels, Still Alice and Left Neglected. I give this book a 4/5.
Happy Reading!Next Review: Home For a Spell by Madelyn Alt