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.
Now she’s alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her own loss brings Anthony alive again for Olivia in a most unexpected way.
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.
Love Anthony By Lisa Genova
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Reading Group Guide
Love Anthony is the latest novel from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected, about an accidental friendship forged between two women on a Nantucket beach; a friendship that provides peace to one, validation to the other. Olivia is a thirty-something mother whose eight-year-old, nonverbal autistic son has recently died. With her marriage badly strained by years of stress, she has come to the island recently separated, trying to understand the purpose of her son’s short life. Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three already living on Nantucket, is also recently separated after discovering her husband's infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her long-lost independence, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to discover her identity again. But surprisingly, as she uncovers her own voice, Beth also finds herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, a voice that will give both women the comfort and answers they need.
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