Sunday, September 23, 2012

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

The ARC of Lisa Genova's new book, Love Anthony, has a quote from USA Today. "Picking up anything written by Genova is quickly becoming a no-brainer." I feel the same. Whether she writes about Alzheimer's, Left Neglected Syndrome or, now, autism, she doesn't really write books about conditions. Genova writes about women, and how we cope with life. And, time after time, she writes her way into my heart.

This time, she takes readers to Nantucket for a year, into the lives of two women who are trying to find answers in their lives. Olivia Donatelli was just coming to grips with her son's autism when he died. When Anthony died, her marriage died as well, and she's left adrift, seeking a place to grieve, returning to the beach on Nantucket where Anthony would happily gather white stones.

Beth fell in love Jimmy Ellis when she was vacationing on Nantucket, and she never left. She set aside her dreams of writing, married, had three beautiful daughters, and lived with a man who lost his job scalloping, and became a bartender. Sometime in their fourteen years of marriage, something happened. They changed, and Beth no longer knows who she is without being Mrs. Jimmy Ellis. She turns back to her writing, and that writing leads her to answers, for her own life, and for Olivia Donatelli.

What do you need in life to feel wanted, to feel happy, to feel safe, to feel loved? Genova asks her characters, and her readers, to ask themselves that question. Her characters find it a difficult question to answer. It takes a boy with autism to force them to look inside their own hearts for the answers. It's those questions that Genova asks, using a condition or syndrome to ask them, that makes her such a powerful writer. She brings her women to life, with all their flaws and weaknesses, and shows that those flaws and weaknesses can also be their greatest strengths.

Genova's first novel, Still Alice, was moving and powerful. With each book, Lisa Genova probes a little more into women's lives, needs and souls. Love Anthony, with its questions, will just add to her reputation as a writer of beautiful, moving stories of tragedy, loss, and triumph in life.

Lisa Genova's website is www.lisagenova.com

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. Gallery Books. 2012. ISBN 9781439164086 (hardcover), 309p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.




12 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I can't wait to read this book!

Beth Hoffman said...

Terrific review, Lesa! I have this book on my list.

Happy Sunday to you and the kitties!

Marce said...

I'm reading this one now so didn't read in full but I agree whatever she writes is a must read. I have enjoyed both her others. Loving Still Alice, an all time favourite.

Lesa said...

Kathy, It's a wonderful book!

Lesa said...

You're going to love it, Beth. We're all having a good day here. Wait until you see Wednesday's Book Chat - lots of Jinx in that one! And, I'm meeting friends for dinner & theater tonight. A good day.

Lesa said...

Marce,

I don't blame you for not reading the review in full when you're into the book. Check back later & see if you agree with the review!

Karen said...

Reading it for our book club, very excited!

Lori's Reading Corner said...

This is is my mini mini TBR pile and I can't wait to get to it

Lesa said...

Great book for a book club, Karen! I hope you enjoy it.

Lesa said...

I loved it, as you can tell, Lori. I hope you do, too.

Les said...

She brings her women to life, with all their flaws and weaknesses, and shows that those flaws and weaknesses can also be their greatest strengths.

Yes!!

I loved this book, too. Genova is one of my all-time favorite authors. I need to make time to reread Still Alice...

Lesa said...

Thank you, Les. Yes, I love Genova, too. Another wonderful book. But, Still Alice is still special.