Author : Jem Lester
Publisher : Orion Publishing Group
Release : April 7, 2016
Genre : Literature & Fiction
Ben Jewell has hit a breaking point. His 10-year-old son, Jonah, has severe autism, and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.
When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk, two who won’t – are thrown together.
As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.
Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, The Shock of the Fall and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
This is an extremely moving novel about Ben and Emma Jewell and their ten year old son, Jonah. When we meet the family they are, like so many parents, considering what secondary school would best meet Jonah’s needs. However, their search for an education is more complicated than most parents, as Jonah is autistic. My nephew is also, like Jonah, severely autistic and so much of this novel resonated with me. Ben and Emma want Jonah to have a place at a residential school for children with autism and, when he is offered something local and which they consider totally unsuitable, they decide to take their case to a tribunal.
This novel really begins when Emma tells Ben that their case will be looked at more favourably if they pretend to split up. Ben moves in with his elderly father in Muswell Hill and Jonah goes with him. Oddly, this book is also set in a part of London I know well and so much about it spoke to me directly that it is almost difficult for me to review this dispassionately, but I will try.
The trio of characters that are Ben, his father and Jonah work brilliantly. Jonah does not speak and Ben has difficulty talking to his father. In fact, Ben has several problems. He is supposed to be running his father’s business, hiring out catering equipment, but, it is soon apparent that he has a major drinking problem and tends to spend most of his working hours in the pub. He has financial issues, marital problems and a whole host of unresolved feelings about his son that he has not come to terms with.
Although this sounds like a rather depressing read, it is actually very funny in places. Much of the humour comes from Ben’s elderly father, Georg, and his friend, Maurice
Langue : English
File size : 1 Mo
Format : EPUB