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