Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review - Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Book Summary from Amazon

Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died. Beth Ellis’s entire life changed with a simple note: “I’m sleeping with Jimmy.” Fourteen years of marriage. Three beautiful daughters. Yet even before her husband’s affair, she had never felt so alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing bridge back to herself. In a piercing story about motherhood, autism, and love, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of change and the irrepressible young boy whose unique wisdom helps them both find the courage to move on.

My Review 3 1/2

Lisa Genova's first book, Still Alice is in my all time top 3 favourite books.  Her second Left Neglected I really enjoyed also with a 4 1/2.  Lisa writes a passion in an educational but joyful way.  This book is more than learning something about autism but loving unconditionally and what  that means to you.

The chapters are a pattern of Beth then Olivia slowly involving where they come together and then a coincidence.  There is the quote, there are no mistakes, no coincidences.  All events are blessings given to us to learn from.  By Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.  Some will not like the coincidence, I found it believable but felt the name should have been different at least.  Beth and Olivia coming together was a blessing in disguise for sure.

Anyone that personally had dealt with Alzheimer's I thought should read Still Alice, in Love Anthony I am unsure if I would recommend for those who have an autistic child.  I think it could be wonderful, but also heartbreaking, scary, just a little to emotional and close to home especially if you hadn't found peace.

Beth separates from her husband and lives life asking many questions.  Should she trust again, who is she, what has she gave up and how to start again.  She remembers wonderful parts of her life packed away in the attic and takes them down to start her adventure of writing again.  The library scenes and book club moments with her friends were a delight to read.

Olivia just lost her son and was grieving alone, also separated from her husband.  The emotional turmoil on not knowing how to move on and what the point of Anthony's life was is her journey.  She also gave up photography and found her way back to it.

Their found again talents and a book bring these two together and enlighten them on life and how to move forward.  The epilogue and how it was created etc was just beautiful, I can see reading that over and over.

I enjoyed it but didn't love it as much as her others.  I do think she is an amazing writer, definitely one of my favourites, I will always pick up her newest.  I highly recommend you read all of her books.  Emotional but you always learn and have that fulfilled feeling at the end. 

I consider Love Anthony to be in the category of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah books.

My Review of Left Neglected

I read Still Alice before blogging but give it a 5+

Personal Story on this book

My blogging friend Michelle from red headed book child reviewed this here.  I was so excited, I had Jan for this book to come out so was happy and jealous she had it already :-).  She sent an email asking if I received a surprise, I hadn't.  Maybe a week later I received the ARC, yaaaaaay.  I was doing a happy dance.  It officially was released this week.

Have to love bloggers and publishers that are willing to share the love.  Thanks Michelle.



  1. I'm eager to read this one! I recall reading somewhere that in Lisa Genova's first two books, she was a neurosurgeon writing, but with this book she felt like she became an author. Can't wait! Sorry to hear you didn't like it as much as her others!

    1. Kristilyn, I actually thought the feel of neurosurgeon author made her have a unique style, I liked that about her.

  2. I have Left Neglected but haven't read it yet, I must get to it!


  3. I haven't read any of her work yet but have this book and hope to read it soon.

  4. I got a copy of this book for review but haven't read the others. I wanted to read Still Alice. I am glad to hear that the book is similar to Kristen Hannah and Jodi Picoult because I've enjoyed some of their books.

  5. Thanks for the review! I think Genova is such a great author, I really need to get my hands on this one.

  6. Oh, doing happy dances are always fun! Sounds like a great book and I'm happy to find out you liked it. :)

    J'adore Happy Endings

  7. I need to read this author, I have heard very good things about her two other books. I do notice that fans of hers didn't enjoy this one as much as the others, athough it was good too.

  8. Still haven't read Alice but need to. This one looks topical and educational. Not sure if I have the midset for it right now.

  9. A great review, I just finished this myself and felt the same way as you

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  10. This one didn't capture my interest the way the last two did... but I think I'll still pick it up at some point, I do love Genova. Sounds like you felt the same way after reading it.

  11. I am still not sure if I should read this one. I loved her Still Alice, but didn't enjoy Left Neglected much. I fear this one may not work for me, but I may try it sometime.


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