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Bauer's nuanced debut chronicles a mother's struggle with her child's mysterious, undiagnosed illness and the once-passionate marriage that doesn't survive the decades of extraordinary stress. Love, marriage and babies follow quickly from Rachel and Jack's first electric meeting, when Rachel is a 20-year-old student at a small Minnesota college and Jack an itinerant worker. But when Edward, the eldest of their three children, turns four, he suddenly transforms from a bright, animated boy to a zombie who goes weeks without sleeping, stares endlessly at his hand and howls to fill a silent room. Settled in Minneapolis, Rachel and Jack try various doctors, codeine and even marijuana tea for their son, who is often mistaken for an autistic, but he stays locked in what he calls, during moments of lucidity, "the nowhere place." Bauer follows the family through Edward's adolescence: Jack struggles with alcoholism and holding down a job while Rachel, a journalist, binds the family together with fierce mother-love. Throughout, Rachel attempts to unravel the mystery of her long-deceased Uncle Mickey, a strange, troubled man whose plight might hold a clue to Edward's disease. Bauer's prose often pierces with authentic, unsentimental power, but blow-by-blow chronological plotting diminishes the novel's grace. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In her sensitive debut, certain aspects of which were inspired by her own life, Bauer describes what happens to an apparently normal family when one of its members becomes inexplicably ill. Jack and Rachel, pregnant again, have two boys--Edward, nearly four, and Matt, two--when Edward suddenly experiences loss of speech, hyperactivity, and insomnia. They run through a gauntlet of doctors: one thinks the behaviors may be caused by brain tumors; another suggests they try marijuana. Asked to provide family medical histories, Jack and Rachel are faced with unearthing painful memories involving Jack's birth parents, whom he never knew, and Rachel's mysterious uncle Mickey, who exhibited symptoms similar to Edward's and eventually committed suicide. By the time Edward is in seventh grade, he has improved markedly yet still has days when he has "the screens pulled down inside his head." By then the marriage has failed, the stress proving too great for this family in peril, portrayed by Bauer with unflinching honesty. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Well written. Fast read. We read it for our Autism Book Club at school. It was a good break from all the clinical books that were on the listPublished 17 months ago by Sarah Volpe
I enjoyed this book very much. The ending surprised me and I was a little disappointed in some of the events that led up to the ending but they were realistic. Read morePublished on January 16, 2013 by susan averett
So hard to find a book that makes cerebral multitasking IMPOSSIBLE. This is a tale that requires complete attention - no planning meals or thinking about work or obligations. Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by comfortfirst
This is one of the best books I have read lately. It absolutely consumed me and I was driven to read, read, read. The characters were so well described I felt like we were friends. Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by Zan
It's been too long since I got this engrossed in a story. I know so many kids who don't get clear diagnoses of their differences and I love how Ann Bauer describes the challenges... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by Susan Armstrong
but I only liked it. Dealing with children with special needs in my profession and being a mother I thought I would find a lot to relate to in this book. Read morePublished on January 27, 2011 by REM Reviews
I read a magazine article by Anne Bauer that I enjoyed, so I decided to buy her novel. It did not disappoint. A very enjoyable story and well written.Published on August 3, 2010 by Arlene S
This book is a fictional chronicle of one family's struggle--to discover what is causing son Edward's strange withdrawal that began at the age of four, and what, if anything, can... Read morePublished on May 13, 2010 by Laurel-Rain Snow
What strikes me the most about this book isn't even so much the plot itself, or the autism-related storyline, which is what draws many, I think, but the laid-bare view of a... Read morePublished on February 28, 2008 by Nicki Heskin