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.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.