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Love Anthony [Hardcover]

Lisa Genova
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 25 2012
From award-winning New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova—whose novel Still Alice is soon to be a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart—comes a heartfelt novel in the vein of Jodi Picoult, about an accidental friendship that helps a grieving mother understand the thoughts of her autistic son.

I’m always hearing about how my brain doesn’t work right…But it doesn’t feel broken to me.

Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony was gone.

Now she’s alone on Nantucket, desperate to find meaning in her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman brings Anthony alive again in a most unexpected way.

In a warm, deeply human story reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Daniel Isn’t Talking, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of change and the irrepressible young boy with autism whose unique wisdom helps them both find the courage to move on.

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Love Anthony + Still Alice + Left Neglected
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Review

"There’s a point in the narrative where one of the characters becomes so engrossed in reading a book that she loses track of time. Readers of Genova’s latest excellent offering might very well find the same happening to them." (Kirkus)

"Lisa Genova's novels ring true. Love Anthony, like Genova's two previous novels, is beautifully written, and poignant to the point of heartbreak...Anyone who has had even a passing contact with an autistic child will relate." (USA Today)

Writing with deep empathy and insight, Genova has created an engaging story that fearlessly asks the big questions. (Booklist)

“Autism is like a Zen koan—a riddle without answers.., with effects that are myriad, mysterious, and confounding. The same could be said about love. This book upended my perceptions of both conditions, leaving me feeling with my mind and thinking with my heart. Everyone should read this book!"  --Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

"Lisa Genova has essentially created her own genre, the 'Lisa Genova' novel, in which complicated topics become accessible to readers through beautifully-drawn characters and profound, human-scale stories. Love Anthony dares to ask enormous questions, the big questions that bedevil all of us. Better yet, Genova has the wisdom to know which ones can be answered, and which cannot." --Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of And When She Was Good

"Love Anthony broke my heart in the best way! I read it spellbound and breathless. If you don't know Lisa Genova's work already, meet your new favorite writer, storyteller, enchanter." --Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, Winner of the Bellwether Prize

“Genova's deep and empathic insight once again has blown me away -- particularly her intensely accurate portrayal of autism parenting. Her characters are complicated people, with unique, believable and, sometimes frustrating struggles. But perhaps Genova's true mastery is in the way she never fails to give us very real people to love.” --Susan Senator, author of Making Peace With Autism

About the Author

Lisa Genova is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Anthony, Left Neglected, and Still Alice. Love Anthony, her latest, is the moving story of the mother of a boy with autism. She graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide, speaking about the causes, treatments, ways to prevent, and what it feels like to live with Alzheimer’s Disease. She has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the documentary film, To Not Fade Away. She lives with her husband and three children in Cape Cod.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... Jan. 18 2013
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Lisa Genova's first novel, "Still Alice", gave readers a harrowing but brilliant look at Alzheimer's from the point of view of the patient. "Left Neglected" explored a strange affliction in which patients lose touch with the left side of their body. In "Love Anthony," Genova (who happens to have a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard), tackles autism, providing a glimpse into the mind of a severely disabled young boy and highlighting some of the difficulties of parenting such a child. But here, for the first time, Genova doesn't focus the entire book on a spotlighted medical condition; she spreads her wings with mixed results.

Beth, a wife and mother of three young girls living on Nantucket, finds out that her husband has cheated on her. She kicks him out of the house, suffers a major identity crisis and starts writing again. She begins a novel, channeling the thoughts and experiences of an autistic boy named Anthony. In alternating chapters, we meet Olivia, a grieving mother recently separated from her husband whose autistic son Anthony has recently died. Olivia has fled her home in Boston for her rental property in Nantucket to try and make sense of her son's life and death. In the end, these women predictably come together to heal and find answers to their individual issues.

Genova takes a risk with her approach and doesn't entirely pull it off; the reader remains skeptical of how she tries Beth's and Olivia's stories together a little too coincidentally. The book also has the feel of "chick lit" that does it a disservice: Beth's wacky, colourful friends that she relies on to help her through her separation, Olivia's too-easy transition into a successful beach portrait photographer, and an overly pat, neat ending. Genova shines and shows her strength as a writer when she channels Anthony's view of the world but "Love Anthony" fails to compare against her earlier works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Anthony Oct. 17 2012
By carol
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful ,wonderful book!!!So insightful and so well written!!I encourage everyone who is struggling with a child or adult who has autism to read this book!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Nov. 17 2013
By Under Ether TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I had previously read Left Neglected and Still Alice by the same author, and I thought they were really intriguing glimpses into the human mind and very moving and emotional stories. I was looking forward to reading Love Anthony, but I was disappointed in it as it seems like a departure from her other books. I found the writing monotonous, the story was not overly interesting and the idea of the two woman's lives intersecting in such a coincidental way seemed just plain silly. I thought the book was stronger when it focused more on Olivia and her autistic son Anthony and the dissolution of her marriage. I wish the author had chosen to focus mainly on her instead of splitting up the book with an additional storyline of Beth dealing with a cheating husband. Her part in the book really dragged and I ended up skipping over parts of it. I didn't find I really cared for any of the characters and the whole story was very predictable. Overall, it was not that great of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story! Nov. 9 2012
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Story Description:

Gallery Books|September 25, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-4391-6486-6

I'm always hearing about how my brain doesn't work right...But it doesn't feel broken to me. Olivia Donatelli's dream of a "normal" life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died.

Now she's alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son's short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her own loss brings Anthony alive for Olivia in a most unexpected way.

Beth Ellis's entire life changed with a simple note: "I'm sleeping with Jimmy." Fourteen years of marriage and three beautiful daughters, yet even before her husband's affair, she had never felt so alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing bridge back to herself.

In a piercing story about motherhood, autism, and love, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of change and the irrepressible young boy whose unique wisdom helps them both find the courage to move on.

My Review:

I think I enjoyed this novel much better than Lisa's "Still Alice".
Read more ›
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1.0 out of 5 stars Struggling to finish reading this book Jan. 9 2014
Format:Paperback
I'm almost done this book. 3 more chapters to go. If it wasn't required for my book club, I would have put it down a long time ago. I find the writing style pedantic, the one word sentences annoying, and the story line heavy handed. Actually. Hit. Over the head. In one scene, a characters dress is repeatedly referred to as a Goldie Hawn dress. Over, and over, and over again. Goldie Hawn has worn a lot of dresses. Is the author referring to "the kind of dress that Goldie Hawn might have worn in Laugh In"? Or is there actually such a thing as a Goldie Hawn dress? The writing style is for effect. The story line is too improbable and cute. Pass.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening, Heartbreaking
A compassionate look at a disease few understand and the brave parents who are navigating through the hurricane of every day life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christi
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Great Story
I read this book for an upcoming book club meeting. I don't think I would have read this book otherwise. I was not aware of it.

This book tells the story of two women. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lyle G. Appleyard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I couldn't put it down. It was heartfelt to the core.
Published 4 months ago by Linda Cooper
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting inside Autism A good try
The previous work that I had read by this author " Still Alice",was a brilliant crawl inside early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Phil Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, was helpful in understanding Anthony
It is a different path that autistic children take but not a lesser one. Their life is just as important if not more so in this world. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jan's reads
4.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant way to shed light on a condition so devastating to many
Very interesting way of bringing information to others on always wanting to change people with autism rather then seeking their means of communication.
Published 7 months ago by Kevin B
5.0 out of 5 stars .
LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Just waiting for her next book to come out, I'd recommend this author to anybody, has yet to disappoint me in her writing!
Published 8 months ago by Caitlyn
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like this author
It is so enjoyable to read good fiction, and still learn something in the reading. Lisa Genova has done a story about Alzhiemer's disease (Still Alice) and a brain injury (Left... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Maggie
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read
Another excellent read from Genova. Slightly below Still Alice (4.5) and Left Neglected (4.5). Looking forward to a fourth, maybe ALS?
Published 10 months ago by SMSilverx2
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I really enjoyed this book, the insight to an autistic mind, yes Fictional but really made you think about it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lori
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