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.


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.

Just Posted

Update: Hundreds pay respects to Stettler homicide victim

Gofundme account created to help the Heritage House in Stettler

Victim Services information event planned

Information on becoming a Victim Service volunteer available at April 26 meeting

Much left to fight for beyond legalization, pot activists say as they mark 4-20

TORONTO — Cannabis activists say although this year’s 4-20 celebrations across the… Continue reading

Canadian Pacific starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

CALGARY — Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train… Continue reading

Nicholas Butcher says he fatally stabbed Kristin Johnston by accident

HALIFAX — Nicholas Butcher has told his second-degree murder trial that he… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon’s run ‘exciting’

NEW YORK — Cynthia Nixon’s quest for the governorship of New York… Continue reading

Lawyers for Russian player say FIFA ends anti-doping case

By Graham Dunbar THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA — Lawyers for Russia defender… Continue reading

Woman who lost pink house, court case seeks box office win

WASHINGTON — Susette Kelo’s Supreme Court case now has a Hollywood ending,… Continue reading

Recent retail sales far weaker than initial estimates, revisions suggest

OTTAWA — Canadian retail sales during the crucial holiday shopping season were… Continue reading

U.S. woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at mall

HALIFAX — An American woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s… Continue reading

Alabama mail-bomber the oldest executed in US modern times

ATMORE, Ala. — An Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during… Continue reading

The Latest: It was Putin call that had Trump fuming at Flynn

WASHINGTON — The Latest on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos (all… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month