Saturday, February 2, 2013

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Read while home alone? sure
Tissues needed? definitely
Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Love Anthony is the story of two women whose lives entwine in an unexpected way. Olivia moves to Nantucket following the death of her young son who had autism. With her marriage crumbling, Olivia tries to find the sense in all that has happened. Just down the road, Beth’s world is rocked by her husband’s affair. She has to make some big decisions for herself and her three daughters. Beth remembers that she used to enjoy writing and finds herself pouring out a story that proves to be just what she—and Olivia—need to heal.

This was a lovely book! I chose it because I read another of Genova’s books, Still Alice, a year or so ago. That one was about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s, and one thing I enjoyed about both books was Genova’s compassion for and knowledge of the conditions featured: autism and Alzheimer’s. Though I know people with both conditions I’m not an expert on either; if you have more experience it would color your reaction to the books, I’m sure.

The stories of Olivia and Beth were well-crafted and they were characters I felt I’d like in real life—kind but quirky. And I’m always drawn to stories set in places like Nantucket—I think I’d enjoy living in a summer place year-round. The story flowed between the two women easily and kept me interested in the book—I knew their paths would cross, but it was interesting to read about when it actually happened. There were a few issues I had to reconcile for myself (Beth’s book had a sort of eerie source and Olivia didn’t have a job for quite awhile after moving—how did she get groceries?) In all, though, I highly recommend Love Anthony!

Do you enjoy books about “in the news” conditions like autism and Alzheimer’s? Do you know “enough to enjoy” or “too much to believe” them? Could you live in a summer place year-round?

I'm linking up to Bookin' It!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading fiction about conditions that I'm interested in but don't know a lot about - much more interesting then reading through WedMD and when it's done well it can give you an idea of what it's like to live with - but I do expect the author to do their homework and I get disappointed when I check up and find out they haven't. Things like people not working but being able to get by with no explanation really bug me though.