Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Love Anthony

Title:  Love Anthony
Author:  Lisa Genova
Publication Information:  Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster. 2012. 309 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on the description. The book came as a hardcover edition from the library.

Favorite Quote:  "I loved your love because it kept me safe and happy and wanted, and it existed beyond words and hugs and eyes."

Lisa Genova holds PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. Her fiction novels are inspired by neuroscience and its impact on our lives. Her first book, Still Alice, dealt with Alzheimers. Her second book, Left Neglected, dealt with the effects of a brain injury due to an accident. Love Anthony deals with autism.

It brings to life the story of a little boy - Anthony. Anthony is an autistic boy or a boy with autism. He was nonverbal. He refused to make eye contact. He did not like to be touched. However, at the end of it all, he is a little boy deeply loved and cherished by his family.

Olivia Donatelli is Anthony's mother. After Anthony's death, she moves to Nantucket seeking peace and understanding of Anthony's life and his death. Beth Ellis is a long time Nantucket resident and a wife and a mother. She is going through struggles of her own and beginning to rediscover and understand her life. The stories of these two women comes together through Anthony in a most unexpected way.

The manner in which the story comes together is completely implausible to me. Yet, it does not matter at all. The way in which the story is told and the emotions and thoughts depicted completely pulled me in and made me forget the implausibility of it all.

Through Olivia's story, we learn of the anguish of a parent unable to help their child and the anguish of losing a child. Beth is a writer and gives voice to the child who had no voice. It pulls you into the Olivia and Anthony's world and hopefully helps you understand. As the author says about the book, "The spectrum is long and wide, and we're all on it. Once you believe this, it becomes easy to see how we're all connected."

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