Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

The author of Dying Young (1989) tells the story of a young mother with an autistic son.Melanie Marsh, an American living in London, has a daughter named Emily, a sweet little girl with blonde curls who chatters exuberantly and loves to paint. She also has Daniel. Daniel isn't normal. He cries a lot—wildly, and for no apparent reason. He hurts himself. He rejects affection from both his parents ... Read full review

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I really enjoyed this book - so much of what she described about dealing with having a child with a disability makes me think that she must have dealt with this on a personal level. The book really nails the emotional frenzy accompanying such a diagnosis. It was a sad book, but really, probably eye-opening for those who have no real experience in dealing with autism, Fragile X Syndrome, or other developmental delays. I don't know how effective this play therapy would have in real life - I can certainly see it working for some kids, but the quick progress that Daniel made put the book firmly in fiction, based on what I have seen. Still, I don't know that you could really have a book be enjoyable with little progress made over a short time frame.
Actually, the best part of the novel, I thought was that in the end, the mother makes the right decision regarding her marriage. The author really did a terrific job of vilifying the husband - an understandable villain, I suppose, but a villain nonetheless. Still, this was a good, if rather sad book, that did a good job with a tough subject.

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