Thursday, October 26, 2017


Rating: 3 of 5 stars 

My book club decided to read Lisa Genova's book, Love Anthony, for our upcoming meeting in November. I am probably part of a small minority of readers who has not read Still Alice (nor seen the movie), but I did read Left Neglected and enjoyed it immensely. I had hoped I would enjoy Love Anthony just as much, but it kind of fell flat for me.

The story is starts off rather depressing and doesn't offer much hope throughout. There's a slight glimmer at the end, but I finished the book just feeling, eh. It wasn't a horrible book, but it didn't wow me. I was quite ready to move on to the next story in my ever-growing to be read pile.

The book features two main characters, Olivia, who had a son with autism who died at age 8, and Beth, who is recently separated from her philandering husband. To reclaim her identity, Beth begins voraciously writing. The outcome of her efforts is a story about a young boy who has autism. As a reader (or even if you aren't a reader), you can tell where this story is going, right? Both women cross paths and are drawn together by the account of a fictional and real boy with autism who is used as a vehicle to help them both manage their grief and loss.

The story is promising, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I found the parts where the little boy, in the book within the book, narrated to be mundane. I get that Genova was trying to give the reader a fuller picture of what having autism is like, but it was a little much for me. Similarly, there were parts where Olivia re-read her journal during the time that she cared for Anthony. It seemed that the book was comprised more of the characters reading and re-telling events than it included actual substance of what was going on in present time.

Recommendation: Genova is a detailed storyteller. Her background, as a neuroscientist, provides another dimension of depth to stories like this. If you're looking to gather another perspective on autism, this might be a good choice. However, I would recommend reading it when you're in good spirits because it is quite sobering.

Until next time ... Read on!


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