Sunday, September 23, 2012
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
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.