Friday, July 26, 2013

Book #11 - A Friend Like Henry

Happy Friday!!  Hope everyone had a great week!  Mine was fabulous because I turned 30 smack dab in the middle of it!  Looking forward to more celebrations this weekend before I recap all the fun for you!  But today, I want to tell you about a book that is one of the most insightful and moving I have read in quite some time!

I love autobiographies...and this one is certainly no exception!  The author, Nuala Gardner, chronicles her efforts and exhaustion with raising an autistic son.  The book is mostly centered on her son, Dale, and how the friendship of a golden retriever, Henry, at a very young age had a profound impact on his development, but the book also focuses on Nuala's personal struggles and victories as well.  Not only does she and her husband, Jaime, have an autistic son, but they are trying to overcome secondary infertility for much of the book as well.  That being said, this wasn't an easy read, but it was a remarkable story particularly if you have exposure to people in your own life in similar situations.

I enjoyed so many things about this book, but particularly her writing style.  She gave so many details and examples that you thought you were right there with her trying to teach Dale the lessons yourself.  I also loved that it chronicled multiple struggles - Dale's autism, infertility issues, and the difficulties of aging parents as well.  It really provided a true picture of the whole spectrum of her adult life...and it wasn't all upbeat and happy either.  It was very honest and insightful.  I also enjoyed the section in the back of the book with Dale's adult reflections on the various stories that his mom wrote about from his childhood and youth throughout the book.  Those reflections along with a reading group guide with questions proved to be a perfect way to end the book.

I would suggest reading this book to anyone...especially if you have an interest in psychology or autism.  It is one of the best I have read!  Let me know your thoughts if you check it out!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Andrea :)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really interesting. Although, in general I'm a fan of memoirs. But I think part of that is due to all my blog reading, since I think each one is, in a way, a mini memoir.