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.
©2016 Jem Lester (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group
Audio book junkie
Hard to stop listening to it, even when incredibly sad. You will laugh out loud from shock rather than hilarity, but the characters draw you in so much you want to hear more.
"Finished it in one sitting!"
This is a really great story, so well written and beautifully narrated. I loved everything about it, and as the sister of a 'jonah' I particularly enjoyed the honesty, humor and sense of connection gained, connection to the author and his characters, but also a new perspective of my own families struggles. I think the book will have a special connection for many but even if you don't know anything about autism read it anyway, it's a story about fathers and sons and love as much as anything and it's a great first novel. Beautiful, congratulations Jem, I hope the book gains the success it deserves! Thank you! X
"Shaun - great book, so much going on in the storyline"
Shaun - great book, so much going on in the storyline.
There was alcoholism, servers autism, the war & marriage breakdown all wrapped up in this great story.
As a father of an autistic child (not as severe as Jonah) I found the story both moving and hilarious.
Congratulations to Jem on representing real autism. No card counting or any other "super power".
Funny, profound, insightful & delightful.
Exceptionally well read.
My favourite book for years. Jem Lester - thank you.
"I will miss this family"
I was totally immersed in this book which the reader brought to life so very well. It is very sad in places and funny in others. I've never reviewed a book before (and I have read and listened to lots). I just felt that this one deserved it on every level, performance, the story and the writing and the fact that I will remember it and will miss the characters very much.
Forget the synopsis.. Know this will make you laugh and cry. I work with autistic adults and I love the guys I look after, I've been there 16 years and adore them... With all their funny stories and meltdowns. I'm also a mum and this tugged at my heart. Georg is the best character I've ever read. Loved this book
"Brilliant book. Funny and moving."
I loved listening to this book and only did so when I could let myself be fully immersed in the story. It completely took me in, emotionally, the characters and the simple funny moments of life it encapsulates. It's a very moving book of a familiar struggle but not written in a 'same old way'. Afterwards you realise why the auther has such an honest insight into caring for someone with autism.
Although there is sadness in the book. It is ultimately, funny, charming, fulfilling and uplifting.
Performed very well indeed.
I would highly recomend this.
"Brilliantly read sad and funny story."
To bring off both a laugh out loud and a tear jerker in one book is very rare. The narration was outstanding sounding as though the author himself was telling the story.
"best Audio book of the year for me!"
the story was great and the narrator was even better. my wife and son listened to it also and felt the same.
"Enlightening and Brutal"
Being an auntie to an autistic nephew, I found this story both educational and heart warming. Having experienced first hand the battles and challenges faced by both parents of autistic children and the autistic child themselves, I commend the author for his superb ability to portray these in a poetic and humorous way. Fantastically written, entertaining yet heart felt. A must read!
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