Book Review: A glimpse into the world of autism

In her third novel, author Lisa Genova combines her bold storytelling with her academic background to give autism a voice.

Book review: Love Anthony

Author: Lisa Genova

Excerpt: And so there we were, the two of us lying on the deck together, smiling at the sky. And as the sun moved on, and our square turned to shade. Anthony sat up and shot me a sideways glance and a pleased grin that I swear said, Wasn’t that AWESOME, Mom? Didn’t you have the best time looking up at the sky with me? And then he screeched and flapped his hands and ran into the house. Yes, it was, Anthony.  It was one of the best times I’ve ever had.

In her third novel, author Lisa Genova combines her bold storytelling with her academic background to give autism a voice. From the best-selling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected comes Love Anthony, a poignant tale of unconditional love, loss and acceptance.

The two main characters, Beth and Olivia, are left dealing with life-changing losses. Beth’s husband has recently left her for another woman while she struggles to come to terms with his affair and rediscover herself. Olivia’s life has been on hold since her son Anthony died, leaving her with so many unanswered questions: what was the purpose of his life, why did he have to have autism, was he happy?

To lend a credible and believable voice to Anthony, who is non-verbal communicative at the severe end of the spectrum, Genova immersed herself in research. Consulting colleagues (she holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard), clinicians, and parents of children with autism, Genova manages to beautifully articulate the thoughts of a young boy, without sounding forced or romanticized.

Over the course of the novel, the two protagonists discover their commonality, Anthony, and a friendship that forms hesitantly grows into a shared experience. As Beth struggles to finish a novel that desperately needs an ending, Olivia creeps closer to unlocking the key to Anthony’s mind.

The same way Still Alice gave a fresh perspective to Alzheimer’s, Love Anthony gives readers an intimate glimpse at autism, giving voice and thoughts to the person living with it. Both main characters further the story and understanding of the ups and downs of autism: one who has lived with it firsthand and is trying to find peace with it, and the other who couldn’t relate to autism until her life was touched by it.

While the novel incorporates themes of self-discovery and understanding, the greater message is acceptance and personal growth from life’s challenges.

This week’s Book Bar book review was contributed by Lindsay Mcpherson.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read