Every now and then in life you come across an author that just pulls you in with everything that they write. Lisa Genova is one of these authors for me. She did it to me with Still Alice and again with Left Neglected (you can read my review of that here.) She has done it again with Love Anthony. I actually had no idea that Lisa Genova had written another book until I was strolling through the aisles at Costco one day and saw it there. Having the experience that I had with her writing, I knew it had to be good.
I really don’t want to give too much away, but this book is about two women – Olivia and Beth, who both are going through the most difficult times in their lives. They are experiencing different circumstances, but they are both devastating, though in different ways. Both of these women are on Nantucket, and their lives intersect briefly on a few occasions, and then once in a way that will tie them together forever.
Olivia is a woman who is mourning the loss of her son, Anthony. Anthony was severely Autistic, and as those who have dealt with Autism know, the challenges that come from raising a child with Autism are many, they are constant, and there is never a break from them. I don’t know this first-hand, but I think you have to be a special person to deal with Autism and how it affects everyone involved.
Beth is a wife and mother who is delivered devastating news in the most brutal of ways, which leads her to have to re-evaluate her life, her marriage, and her future. The story of these two women is very interesting how they end up connecting on almost a spiritual level through means neither of them would have ever thought possible.
Lisa Genova, as I have written before has her PhD in neuroscience from Harvard. She knows much about the topics she writes fiction about – Alzheimers, Left Neglect, Autism. This gives her great resources and obviously gives her books in depth medical knowledge that truly helps the authenticity of the story. The thing I love about her is that while she doesn’t hesitate to show the harsh realities of these conditions, she is exceptional at portraying the affects that these conditions have on the people, and on the families and support systems of these people. She makes the condition about the person, not just about the details of the medical condition. She does this beautifully.
Highly recommend, a great summer read, as are her other books if you haven’t had the chance to read them either.