Title: The Boy Who Fell to Earth
Author: Kathy Lette
Genre: Chick Lit
Meet Merlin. He’s Lucy’s bright, beautiful son – who just happens to be autistic. Since Merlin’s father, the reserved, cerebral workaholic Jeremy, left them in the lurch shortly after Merlin’s diagnosis, Lucy has made Merlin the centre of her world. Struggling with the joys and tribulations of raising her adorable yet challenging son, Lucy doesn’t have room for any other man in her life… so why bother trying to find one?
When Lucy realises she’s becoming increasingly cynical about life in general, she finally resolves to dip a toe back into the world of dating. Things don’t go quite to plan, yet just as Lucy is resolved to a life of singledom once more, the most imperfectly perfect man for her and her son lands on her doorstep. But then, so does Jeremy, begging for forgiveness and a second chance…
My Thoughts: I could write reams on why I enjoyed this book and there is so much that the blurb doesn’t tell you about the highs and lows of life with an autistic child as Lucy tries to raise her child and stay sane; and author Lucy Lette should know as her 21-year-old son, Julius, was diagnoses as having Asperger’s (high-functioning autism) when he was a toddler. In an interview Kathy said there is a lot of Julius in Merlin but the book is fiction and not a memoir. In amongst the hilarious one-liners and slap-stick skits are poignant statements such as “…Mothering a child on the autism spectrum is as easy as skewering banana custard to a mid-air boomerang…” said in jest but striking deep in the heart. There is also a standout scene that highlights the dangers these trusting children can get into as Merlin is waylaid by a paedophile in a nearby park – brought up to be polite and not ask questions he is ill-equipped to understand what was going on. Lucy battles with the education department to try and get her son into a special school – only to be told time and time again that her son was just naughty. Lucy also has to field questions from the literal mind of her son such as “…if there is a happy hour in a bar is there a sad hour?..” There were also some very hairy questions, usually at the most inappropriate times like telling his grand-mother that he had heard she had two faces so why she was wearing the face she had on today! I loved this book – I loved the humour, I loved the message. THE BOY WHO FELL TO EARTH goes a long way to understanding what the parents and carers must be going through and to help and encourage them rather than talk about them behind their backs.
Rating: A – Impressive Story
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