Shtum by Jem Lester

Shtum by Jem Lester | bluchickenninja.comRating: 4 / 5 stars
Format: ebook
Published: 7th April 2016
Book Depository | Goodreads

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It draws you in from the very first page and tells a heartbreaking story of a family with an autistic son. One thing I found really interesting what that though this story is about a child with autism, it’s really more about the father and how he copes with a child who is unable to talk and look after himself.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster from the very beginning and it’s a rollercoaster you won’t want to get off. Once you’re introduced to Jonah you become fascinated with this life he lives and you won’t want to put the book down till the story is over.

However my one tiny complaint about this book would be that the ending dragged on quite a bit. I assumed that the story would conclude with the results of Jonah’s tribunal, but it did not. The father still had some issues to work through (because it really is the father’s story). But I did feel that it had been tacked on at the end life an afterthought after what felt like the natural conclusion to the story.

But this still managed to be a very enjoyable read. I’ve seen it compared to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time (though I haven’t read either of those so can’t verify those claims). Either way this is a story that is definitely worth a read.

Buy Shtum on Book Depository

Thanks for reading.
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*I received a copy of this book from Orion in exchange for an honest review.


8 Responses to “Shtum by Jem Lester”

  1. lovecoexist

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is an amazing book! You really get to see autism through the eyes of the boy and it is very honest. There are points here and there where you get to see it from the outside looking in, but I like how it’s mostly about the boy in this one. Good read

  2. pedometergeek

    For a different take on autism, consider reading Nick Shamhart’s The Fog Within. This story is told from the perspective of Megan, a girl who is autistic…as a child, as a teen, and as an adult. ~nan (by the way, for a review of another of his books, check out my review blog

  3. Kate

    This sounds really good! I’ll have to add it to my (rather large) list of books to read in the holidays haha! Great review 🙂 xx


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