About the Book:
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.
My regular readers know that I have an autistic son. Luckily, my son is verbal, and was a physically affectionate as a young child. However, I have seen many handicapped kids in my day and have given thanks many times that my problems are not as serious as those kids' parents' problems. Olivia was not so lucky. Her son's autism was severe--and then he died, and with him, her marriage, her life as she knew it. Her divorce settlement called for her to get the Nantucket cottage so she heads there, after tourist season is over, to recover.
Beth used to write. She has been a wife and mother for years, but she just learned that her husband was having an affair. In cleaning out her attic she remembers that she used to write and decided to start again. Somehow she ends up telling Olivia's son's story. The two women's lives come together and each learns to live, and hope again.
I really enjoyed the story and found the characters to be well developed and the story line a little different. The ending was hopeful but realistic.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via Edelweiss. Grade: B+