Readers may recall that I selected both STILL ALICE and LEFT NEGLECTED by Lisa Genova as Bookreporter.com Bets On selections in previous years. I am very pleased to share that Lisa will be the first author to grab a slot with a third Bets On selection with her latest novel, LOVE ANTHONY. Lisa is a brainy author --- literally. She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University and infuses her novels with stories of how the brain works. Along the way, she creates some very vivid and memorable writing while making the reader “smarter” --- so much that you are surprised about what you have learned.
At the heart of Lisa’s story is a young boy who has autism, a subject that has affected many families. Anthony; his mom, Olivia; and Beth, a woman who casually meets him on the beach in Nantucket one day are drawn together in a plot that is both beautifully written and informative. Anthony lives in a world where he hates to be touched, and a day when he looks Olivia in the eye is to be celebrated. Here, two women facing big changes in their lives find a lot of hope through the little boy, who holds so much of his life inside.
By the time you are finished reading, you will have read a wonderful novel while also emerging more knowledgeable about the world of autism. Two other books on this subject, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon and THE SIEGE: A Family's Journey into the World of an Autistic Child by Clara Claiborne Park, are both referenced in LOVE ANTHONY; I know the former, though not the latter, but now want to read it as well. And if you did not have empathy for parents whose children have autism before, you will once you read the last heart-tugger page of the book.