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If I Could Tell You: A Novel Paperback – May 1, 2012
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About the Author
Hannah Brown is the movie critic for the Jerusalem Post. Born and raised in New York City, she was a movie critic at the New York Post. Her short fiction has appeared in Commentary, the Jerusalem Post magazine and Short Story Quarterly. Two of her short stories were included in the anthology, Israel Short Stories, published by Ang-Lit. Press in Tel Aviv in February 2011. She has published articles, essays and reviews for Newsweek, New York, the Forward and the Jerusalem Report. She hosted a weekly radio show about movies on the RAM FM station, which broadcast from Jerusalem and Ramallah. She lives with her two sons in Jerusalem.
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My nephew is autistic, but he's 22 now, and I have a hard time remembering the struggles of the early years. Hannah Brown has captured those struggles, while clearly showing that each child with autism is different. Her novel also shows why that uniqueness makes it so difficult to choose therapies and schools for children with autism.
My favorite character was Ruthie because her passion was so 'out there.' Brown manages to show the strengths and vulnerabilities of her characters, leaving me rooting for all of them, even those who are a little more prickly at the outset.
I want to read more about these remarkable families to see what the future holds for them.
Hannah Brown's "IF I COULD TELL YOU" couldn't possibly be more important than now. This is not only the "inside" story of Autism, focusing unblinkingly upon the most intimate moments of children so afflicted and of their caretakers, it's also a tremendously learned, well-researched narrative that somehow, through Brown's unique literary alchemy, translates the usual scientific and pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that plagues different descriptions of the disorder into lucid prose I simply couldn't put down. It was late at night when I presumed I'd take a quick glance at the book, and it was early the next morning when I finally closed it, fully wide-eyed after having savored all 304 pages in the interim!
This is a book that will grip and entertain every bit of you with its surprises, changes-of-direction, humor, and passion; it will also give you tremendous insight into one of the great adversities of our time. Brown is an equal-opportunity observer of the numerous ways physicians, educators, and parents are trying to deal with Autism, inspired by her own position as a mother who's not only in the trenches herself, but who's also an activist in the cause to demystify the lives of those who've struggled alone and in obscurity for far too long.
The book also includes detailed appendices describing helpful readings and websites which treat a myriad of issues associated with the Autism Spectrum and with the raising of children with disabilities.
But as I said, I think this book is about the family caregivers. One mother lost her job, the husband of one of the women had an affair with another woman in the group, who was then ostracized. She wasn't brought back in until something went wrong with a treatment. Another couple broke up because the husband was pursuing a different path than his wife was comfortable with.
These are chick lit/women's fiction books, so men don't play very big roles. .I'm sure there are more families that get strong support from the husbands and help their children as a team. The stats do say that many families break up, and I believe that since this author has an autistic child, she definitely wrote from an "inside" perspective. She knew exactly what she was talking about.
Most recent customer reviews
I looked forward to seeing the different approaches to 'improvements', 'cures', etc.Read more
I feel this book gives a lot of good information and captures the trauma that parents...Read more