Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: From the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Still Aliceand Left Neglected, comes a heartfelt novel about an accidental friendship that gives a grieving mother a priceless gift: the ability to understand the thoughts of her eight-year-old autistic son and make sense of his brief life.
Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.
Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.
My thoughts: This one made me cry. I am not a crier. Given, I was sitting in ICU shortly after my husband had brain surgery so there may be a excuse. Or a correlation.
Lisa Genova possesses a brilliant resume. She is a scientist with many letters following her name. She must think pragmatically so I struggle to reconcile the other part of her, the one I forgot. Her beautiful writing style as she empathetically takes the reader through a neurological experience so profound and so emotional, I cried.
I haven't read Genova's Still Alice. I will. I read Left Neglected which was amazing and flawless. So I raved about the book to my friends. I love the way her titles have double meaning. This book was no exception. It can be read as Love, Anthony or Love Anthony. Anthony being on the far end of the PDD spectrum. Yet subtly, the book is also drawing similarities between Anthony who is autistic and Beth who is "normal." What is the purpose of each life? Was Anthony truly flawed? Was broken? Did he need to be fixed? Did he need to be understood? Or was Anthony perfect just the way he was? Was his purpose to learn or to teach?
So I must reiterate what I love about Genova's writing. Yes, she gives an accurate depiction of one Autistic boy. She provides a little neurological background in layman's terms. On the other hand, her brain can somehow possess the calculated mind of a scientist and the creativity of master artist in the medium of words.
It is so very blatantly a book club book.
2 copies of this amazing book up for grabs!
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*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.