Love Anthony sad but heroic tale

Here is a new book by the author of Still Alice and Left Neglected. Both of those titles were best sellers; the first being a personal look at Alzheimer’s disease and the second the story of a brain injury and its aftermath.

Array

Array

Love Anthony

By Lisa Genova

$20.99 Pub by Gallery Books

Here is a new book by the author of Still Alice and Left Neglected. Both of those titles were best sellers; the first being a personal look at Alzheimer’s disease and the second the story of a brain injury and its aftermath.

This time, the subject is autism, and Anthony (of the title) is the autistic.

Some of this book is of the ‘beach read’ genre (as in pretty darn light) and in our area it isn’t beach weather.

However, the story takes place on Nantucket, so that may explain it.

The story opens with Beth, mother of three girls and wife to Jimmy. Jimmy works nights and sleeps days. This day, in spite of a storm, Beth takes the dog and goes to the mailbox, only to receive a card addressed to her. It says, “Jimmy is sleeping with me, he Loves me.” A smashing beginning.

Beth boots Jimmy out and finds solace with her girlfriends, who all attend the same book club.

Jimmy and Beth have been married 15 years when they break up.

Now her girlfriends form a girlie committee and plan to present themselves at the bar where the new girlfriend works. Not perhaps the best idea.

Beth, reputed to be a neat freak, can find nothing in her closet that is cute or suitable, except a black maternity dress. Her youngest child is four years old! I know the book is fiction but it shouldn’t be farce.

However, there are others in this book who hold the story together. Olivia is the mother of Anthony and she has all the dreams that any mother has for her adorable but troubled son.

She and her husband have impoverished themselves to find help for Anthony and, as often happens, their marriage is suffering from the pressure.

Now, Anthony has died very suddenly at nine years of age and Olivia has come alone to stay at their place on Nantucket.

She is reading the diary she wrote during his short life and trying to come to terms with her loss.

As she re-reads her journals, we hear Anthony’s story from Olivia’s side.

Beth, who has rediscovered her skill as a writer, begins to write a story that just seems to “come” to her. It is Anthony’s side of the story and very moving.

The question that Olivia wrestles with, through thought and prayer, is this: What was the reason for Anthony, why a life like his that seemed to serve no purpose and ended so suddenly? She can find no answers.

Beth writes the story that comes to her and we learn how the world looked to Anthony. It’s a sad but heroic tale.

Experts will tell us that children “on the spectrum of autism” do not all present in the same way. Everyone is not an Anthony.

Parts of this book don’t bear close examination, but Anthony’s story is brave and touching.

Peggy Freeman is a local freelance book reviewer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

The City of Red Deer is still repaying two loans for the Sorensen Station parkade, which are contributing to a deficit in the parking revenue fund. (Advocate staff)
Dropping parking revenues in Red Deer are creating a deficit

Loan repayments for the cost of the parkade are straining reserves

Red Deer firefighters look for coloured tags on downtown fire hydrants to determine water pressure levels before connecting their hoses to fight blazes, such as this fire at a low-income housing complex last summer. (Advocate file photo.)
Tagged fire hydrants are some of the City of Red Deer’s new innovations

New ideas are being generated to improve services or save money: general-manager

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
‘Fake’ police officers demand money, Red Deer RCMP warn of scam

Red Deer RCMP are warning the public of a concerning incident where… Continue reading

The sit-down area of Red Deer's Tim Hortons at 3020 22nd St. was closed to the public on Monday because of an "evolving health situation." The drive-through was open and remained busy.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Red Deer Tim Hortons restaurant dining room closed due to “evolving health situation”

Drive-through at Tim Hortons in southeast Red Deer remained open

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Fredy Montero celebrates after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. The Vancouver Whitecaps are hanging on to several of their young players and continuing contract talks with two veterans, including Montero. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Steve Dipaola
Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Toronto FC forward Pablo Piatti (7) cuts past Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan (53) during first half MLS Canadian Championship soccer action in Toronto on Friday, August 21, 2020. Barring a new agreement, Toronto FC is parting ways with designated player Pablo Piatti. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Hamilton Forge FC players celebrate their win over CD Olimpia's during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 action in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. After a season that has taken it from Hamilton to Charlottetown, El Salvador and Panama, Forge FC hopes the Dominican Republic is the last stop on the way to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

A police officer patrols near the Olympic Symbol being transported on a barge in the Odaiba section Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Tokyo. The five Olympic rings are back in Tokyo Bay. They were removed for maintenance four months ago shortly after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Ottawa Redblacks player Brad Sinopoli speaks to reporters as the team clears out of the locker room, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Sinopoli fully understands the challenge Kendall Hinton faced Sunday with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos activated Hinton, a receiver, from the practice roster to become the starting quarterback in Sunday's 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Former quarterback Brad Sinopoli can appreciate challenges Hinton faced with Broncos

Former quarterback Brad Sinopoli can appreciate challenges Hinton faced with Broncos

Hamilton Forge FC players Giuliano Frano (8) and David Edgar (30) celebrate their team's win over CD Olimpia's during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Edgar, who announced today he is retiring at the end of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Veteran Canadian centre back David Edgar to retire at end of the year

Veteran Canadian centre back David Edgar to retire at end of the year

Sanctuary volunteer Angie Birch greets Wolfdog Rue as she goes through her daily chores at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, Cochrane Alberta on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
‘My heartdog’: Misunderstood wolfdogs get permanent home at sanctuary near Calgary

‘My heartdog’: Misunderstood wolfdogs get permanent home at sanctuary near Calgary

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Quebec Premier Francois Legault leave a news conference in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Kenney says Alberta’s largest hospitals are at 91 per cent capacity due to COVID-19 cases and widespread cancellation of more non-urgent surgeries may be necessary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta premier says hospitals stressed by COVID-19, more surgeries may be cancelled

Alberta premier says hospitals stressed by COVID-19, more surgeries may be cancelled

Most Read