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Next Stop: A Memoir Hardcover – March 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (March 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158605
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,132,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is not a romance, or even just a heart-warmer. It’s a real love story, frank and particular. If you don’t like it, you don’t like love.” —Roy Blount, Jr.


“This is a story that should be read by all parents, both for what it teaches about the limits of love and the power of hope, and for the way it lets us see what it means to let our children go and lovingly watch and guard over them from a distance we cannot violate. . . . You will not soon forget Next Stop.” —Robert Bausch, author of A Hole in the Earth and The Gypsy Man
 


“A manual on what makes us human. Illuminating, inspiring, and at times heartbreaking. Brilliant.” —Jack McDevitt, Nebula Award–winning author of Firebird


“Remarkable.” —David Rowell, author of The Train of Small Mercies

About the Author

Glen Finland lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, Bruce, and the youngest of their three adult sons, David. A former reporter and a freelance writer, she received her MFA from American University, where she has taught writing.

More About the Author

Glen is the author of Next Stop: A Son With Autism Grows Up, based on her May 2009 Washington Post Magazine feature story about parenting an autistic child to adulthood and then learning to let go(AmyEinhornBooks/Putnam). Next Stop is a Summer 2012 Barnes&Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick and Penguin's 2012 pick for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Glen received the 2012 Dean's Medal for Leadership Excellence in Communication from the University of Georgia's College of Journalism.
A former TV news reporter, Glen's freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Family Circle, Parenting, Autism Speaks, Babble, American Magazine, Revolution, A Cup of Comfort, Special Needs Magazine,and Wired.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reading Next Stop is like sitting down with the author for a cup of coffee.
Stepherzfeld
And it is a family story and took a loving and gentle husband as decribed by Glen as well as the sometimes frustration of her older sons, Eric and Max.
Mary H. Ferraro
The author is an amazing story teller and I am inspired by her and her son David.
Katherine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Smart Cookie on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Next Stop is a memoir that opened my heart and then broke it a little. The author pulls no punches and I was touched by the honesty in this book. The family's strengths and flaws are richly illuminated in stories that made me wonder how I could do better. I stayed up late to finish it and have been thinking about it ever since.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jayne on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I could not put this moving, beautifully written memoir down. It's the story of a devoted mom's efforts to let her autistic son "go" in his late teens and early 20s. But it is really every mother's story of the trials and tribulations of parenting - the judgmental stares in public, the tense conversations with teachers, the slighted siblings and the struggle to let children find their own way. It's just that the author's experiences make many of ours seem so trivial by comparison. I cried and I laughed, but most of all I worried what will become of all the Davids out there. Here's to hoping our government and society help them find their own Next Stops.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Viviane Crystal VINE VOICE on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
David Finland and his mother, Glen, spend a whole summer traveling the Washington D.C. trains. Whereas it was a constant surprise for David when he was a child, now the goal is for him to learn how to navigate traveling on his own. In fact, that is the goal of this entire account. While it is easy to parent an autistic child forever, assuming responsibility in all aspects, it's not healthy or beneficial to David. The unspoken question remains if he can maintain independence without always checking in with Mom and Dad, a serious question with no easy answers.
The first thing one realizes on reading is that every disabled child, particularly autistic children/adults, is unique. There's no cookie cutter pattern to follow but David Finland is able to show what works and what doesn't. His biggest problem is that he gets so distracted and focused on one thing that everything else is off his radar or thinking.
Glen describes the frantic search initially for what caused David's problems and is not shy about discussing people's kind but more often cruel or thoughtless comments about David's autism, including mainstream children in school who can be the most heartless and the most lacking in understanding and compassion. But the story of Glen and her husband's journey with David is the most inspiring part of this story. No, they don't learn it in classes, although they get some clues here and there from other programs. They learn by trial and error, by not condemning and always encouraging, while realistically setting limits, not an easy task at all.
David is off the radar as far as others' emotional needs but that doesn't mean he doesn't have his own way of showing care and love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stepherzfeld on May 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My autistic son is 15. Reading Next Stop is like sitting down with the author for a cup of coffee. It is a personal, intimate and honest portrayal of raising a special needs son who has aged out of services but still needs protection and guidance. I highly recommend this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Herbert on June 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Glen Finland's memoir is about family. Some would say it's about parenting a special needs child, but this book is so much more. It is the searingly honest, painful story of love; how to give it; how to receive it and all the sacrifices love demands along the way. I appreciate the way Finland moves around in time, including her parents' lives, as well as her husband's parents, knitting these threads of family together by returning to the present action of teaching their autistic son, David, how to ride the Metro, so he can achieve greater independence. It's all here: the frustration of dealing with a battalion of doctors and their various diagnoses; the difficulties David's brothers experience as members of a family in crisis; "the blame game," trying to discover a genetic link between David and other family members. All this is told in the most gorgeous writing that "stumbles out of the dark" at you and leaves you stunned and blessed for having read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louis N. Gruber VINE VOICE on July 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book begins with Mom, Glen Finland, trying to teach her son to navigate the Washington, DC subway system. Endless hours of practice, following different routes, buying the tickets, trying not to get lost or distracted. This is important because her son, David, is autistic (with a variety of other impairments as well). He doesn't follow social cues well, he doesn't do abstract thinking well, he is outgrowing childhood, and he has no prospects for employment. Even when David gets it right, Mom has trouble letting him go. David is straining at independence and Mom suffers every step of the way.

This is a powerful memoir about a young man with autism, about parenting, about the lack of social support for children who are different, about the limited help available from the army of doctors, counselors, and all of what David calls "professional strangers." If the book reveals a lot about David and his struggles (as inferred, because he doesn't talk about them and doesn't like to be asked questions), it probably says even more about Mom, author Glen Finland, and her struggles with parenting. She writes extremely well, drawing her readers into the pain, the frustration, and the occasional moments of triumph, how she survived, and how her marriage helped her survive. This is not a feel-good book with a happy ending, because David will never be "cured." It is, however, a hopeful book, and leaves us at least seeing possibilities, opportunities, openings, and moments of grace.

This is a book to be read slowly, with much reflection. I recommend it most highly. This is a book you must read. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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