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Love Anthony

Love Anthony

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Love Anthony

avaliações:
4/5 (96 avaliações)
Comprimento:
366 página
5 horas
Lançado em:
Sep 25, 2012
ISBN:
9781439164709
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Written by Scribd Editors

Love Anthony is a deeply insightful story into the saving graces of love, friendship, and motherhood from the bestselling author Dr. Lisa Genova.

Dr. Genova graduated from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology, and Harvard with a PhD in neuroscience. She has given lectures on neurological diseases all over the world, perhaps most notably through TED Talks, where her lecture on Alzheimer's prevention has received over 2 million views. Her previous work, Still Alice, was notably adapted into an Academy Award-winning film, with Julianne Moore and Kirsten Stewart.

Love Anthony is the tale of two women, Olivia and Beth, meeting by chance on a beach in Nantucket. One woman is a single mother of three, the other came to Nantucket to help ease the tragedy of losing her eight-year-old autistic son, Anthony. Anthony's story and his unique perspectives bring the two women together, and gives readers a deep appreciation for the families we love.

Lançado em:
Sep 25, 2012
ISBN:
9781439164709
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens, and Remember. Still Alice was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's, has been viewed over 2 million times.  

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Love Anthony - Lisa Genova

Genova

PROLOGUE

It’s Columbus Day weekend, and they lucked out with gorgeous weather, an Indian-summer day in October. She sits in her beach chair with the seat upright and digs her heels into the hot sand. The ocean in front of her sparkles white and silver in the sunlight. There are no fishing boats or yachts in the distance, no kite surfers or swimmers near the shore, nothing but a pure ocean view today. She inhales and exhales.

Soak it up.

Her three daughters are busy building a sand castle. They’re too close to the water. It’ll be flooded and destroyed within an hour, but they wouldn’t heed their mother’s warning.

Her oldest daughter, almost eight, is the architect and foreman. More sand here. A feather there. Go get some shells for the windows. Dig this hole deeper. The younger two are her loyal construction workers.

More water!

The youngest, barely four, loves this job. She skips off with her pail, charges knee-deep into the ocean, fills her bucket, and returns, struggling with the weight of it, sloshing at least half of the water out as she walks a drunken line back to her sisters, smiling, delighted with her contribution to the project.

She loves to watch her daughters like this, absorbed in playing, unaware of her. She admires their young bodies, all in little-girl bikinis, skin still deeply tanned from a summer spent outside, skipping, squatting, bending, sitting, utterly unself-conscious.

The weather and the holiday combined have invited a lot of tourists to the island. Compared to the last many weeks since Labor Day, the beach today feels crowded with walkers and a few sunbathers. Just yesterday she walked on this same stretch of sand for an hour and saw only one other person. But that was a Friday morning, and it was foggy and cold.

Her attention becomes drawn to a woman sitting in a similar beach chair at the water’s edge and her boy, who is playing by himself next to her. The boy is a skinny little thing, shirtless in blue bathing trunks, probably a year younger than her youngest daughter. He’s creating a line of white rocks on the sand.

Each time the water rushes in, momentarily drowning his line of rocks in white foam, he jumps up and down and squeals. He then runs into the water as if he’s chasing it, and runs back, a huge smile stretched across his face.

She continues to watch him, for some reason mesmerized, as he methodically adds more and more rocks to his line.

Gracie, go see if that little boy wants to help you build the castle.

Outgoing and used to taking orders, Gracie bounces over to the little boy. She watches her daughter, hands on her hips, talking to him, but they’re too far away for her to hear what her daughter’s saying. The boy doesn’t seem to acknowledge her. His mother looks over her shoulder for a moment.

Gracie runs back to their beach blanket alone.

He doesn’t want to.

Okay.

Soon, the ocean begins to invade the castle, and the girls grow bored of building it anyway, and they start grumbling about being hungry. It’s lunchtime, and she didn’t bring any food. Time to go.

She closes her eyes and draws in one last warm, clean, salty breath, then exhales and gets up. She gathers a handful of stray shovels and castle molds and carries them to the water to rinse them off. She lets the water roll over her feet. It’s numbingly cold. As she rinses her daughter’s beach toys, she scans the sand for seashells or sea glass, something beautiful to bring home.

She doesn’t see anything worth collecting, but she does spot a single, brilliant white rock peeking out of the sand. She picks it up. It’s oval, tumbled perfectly smooth. She walks over to the little boy, bends down, and carefully places her rock at one end of his line.

He glances at her so quickly, it would’ve been easy to miss them altogether—stunning brown eyes, twinkling in the sun at her, delighted with her contribution to his project. He jumps and squeals and flaps his hands, a happy dance.

She smiles at the boy’s mother, who mirrors a smile in return, but it’s guarded and weary, one that doesn’t invite anything further. She’s sure she doesn’t know this woman or her little boy and has no particular reason to think she’ll ever see them again, but as she turns to leave, she waves and says with total conviction, See you later.

CHAPTER 1

Beth is alone in her house, listening to the storm, wondering what to do next. To be fair, she’s not really alone. Jimmy is upstairs sleeping. But she feels alone. It’s ten in the morning, and the girls are at school, and Jimmy will sleep until at least noon. She’s curled up on the couch, sipping hot cocoa from her favorite blue mug, watching the fire in the fireplace, and listening.

Rain and sand spray against the windows like an enemy attacking. Wind chimes gong repetitive, raving-mad music, riding gusts from some distant neighbor’s yard. The wind howls like a desperately mournful animal. A desperately mournful wild animal. Winter storms on Nantucket are wild. Wild and violent. They used to scare her, but that was years ago when she was new to this place.

The radiator hisses. Jimmy snores.

She has already done the laundry, the girls won’t be home for several hours, and it’s too early yet to start dinner. She’s grateful she did the grocery shopping yesterday. The whole house needs to be vacuumed, but she’ll wait until after Jimmy is up. He didn’t get home from work until after 2:00 a.m.

She wishes she had the book for next month’s book club. She keeps forgetting to stop by the library to check it out. This month’s book was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It was a quick read, a murder mystery narrated by an autistic teenage boy. She liked it and was especially fascinated by the main character’s strange inner world, but she hopes the next one will be a bit lighter. They typically choose more serious literature for book club, but she could use a pleasant escape into a hot summer romance right about now. They all could.

A loud bang against the back of the house startles her. Grover, their black Lab, lifts his head from where he’s been sleeping on the braided rug.

It’s okay, Grove. It’s just Daddy’s chair.

Knowing a big storm was on its way, she told Jimmy to take his chair in last night before he left for work. It’s his cigar-smoking chair. One of the summer residents left it on the side of the road in September with a sign taped to it that read FREE, and Jimmy couldn’t resist it. The thing is trash. It’s a cedar Adirondack chair. In most places on Earth, that chair could weather a lifetime, but on Nantucket, the salty, humid air eventually degrades everything but the densest man-made composite materials. Everything needs to be extraordinarily tough to survive here. And probably more than a little dense.

Jimmy’s moldy, corroded chair belongs at the dump or at least in the garage, as Beth wisely suggested last night. But instead, the wind has just lifted it off the ground and heaved it against the house. She thinks about getting up and hauling the chair into the garage herself, but then she thinks better of it. Maybe the storm will smash it to pieces. Of course, even if this happens, Jimmy will just find some other chair to sit in while he smokes his smelly cigars.

She sits and tries to enjoy her cocoa, the storm, and the fire, but the impulse to get up and do something nags at her. She can’t think of anything useful to do. She walks over to the fireplace mantel and picks up the wedding picture of Jimmy and her. Mr. and Mrs. James Ellis. Fourteen years ago. Her hair was longer and blonder then. And her skin was flawless. No pores, no spots, no wrinkles. She touches her thirty-eight-year-old cheek and sighs. Jimmy looks gorgeous. He still does, mostly.

She studies his smile in the photo. He has a slight overbite, and his eyeteeth jut forward a touch. When she met him, she thought his imperfect teeth added to his charm, lending just enough to his rugged good looks without making him look like a hillbilly. He has a self-assured, mischievous, full-out grin for a smile, the kind that makes people—women—put forth considerable effort to be the reason for it.

But his teeth have started to bug her. The way he picks at them with his tongue after he eats. The way he chews his food with his mouth open. The way his eyeteeth stick out. She sometimes finds herself staring at them while he talks, wishing he’d shut his mouth. They’re pearly white in this wedding photograph, but now they’re more caramel- than cream-colored, abused by years of daily coffee and those smelly cigars.

His once beautiful teeth. Her once beautiful skin. His annoying habits. She has them, too. She knows her nagging drives him crazy. This is what happens when people get older, when they’re married for fourteen years. She smiles at Jimmy’s smile in the picture, then replaces it on the mantel a little to the left of where it was before. She takes a step back. She purses her lips and eyes the length of the mantel.

Their fireplace mantel is a six-foot-long, single piece of driftwood hung over the hearth. They found it washed up on the shore one night on Surfside Beach during that first summer. Jimmy picked it up and said, We’re hanging this over the fireplace in our house someday. Then he kissed her, and she believed him. They’d only known each other for a few weeks.

Three pictures are on the mantel, all in matching weathered, white frames—one of Grover when he was six weeks old on the left, Beth and Jimmy in the middle, and a beach portrait of Sophie, Jessica, and Gracie in white shirts and floral, pink peasant skirts on the right. It was taken just after Gracie’s second birthday, eight years ago.

Where does the time go? she says aloud to Grover.

A huge, peach starfish that Sophie found out by Sankaty Lighthouse flanks the Beth-and-Jimmy picture on the left, and a perfect nautilus shell, also huge and without a single chip or crack, flanks the Beth-and-Jimmy picture on the right. Beth found the nautilus shell out on Great Point the year she married Jimmy, and she protected it vigilantly through three moves. She’s picked up hundreds of nautilus shells since and has yet to find another one without a flaw. This is always the arrangement on the mantel. Nothing else is allowed there.

She adjusts her wedding picture again, slightly to the right, and steps back. There. That’s better. Perfectly centered. Everything as it should be.

Now what? She’s on her feet, feeling energized.

Come on, Grover. Let’s go get the mail.

Outside, she immediately regrets the idea. The wind whips through her heartiest windproof winter coat as if it were a sieve. Chills tumble down her spine, and the cold feels like it’s worming its way deep into her bones. The rain is coming at her sideways, slapping her in the face, making it difficult to keep her eyes open enough to see where they’re going. Poor Grover, who was warm and happy and asleep a few moments ago, whimpers.

Sorry, Grove. We’ll be home in a minute.

The mailboxes are about a half mile away. Beth’s neighborhood is inhabited by a smattering of year-rounders and summer residents, but mostly summer people live on her route to the mail. So this time of year, the houses are empty and dark. There are no lights on in the windows, no smoke billowing from the chimneys, no cars parked in the driveways. Everything is lifeless. And gray. The sky, the earth, the weathered cedar shingles on every empty, dark house, the ocean, which she can’t see now but can smell. It’s all gray. She never gets used to this. The tedious grayness of winter on Nantucket is enough to unravel the most unshakable sanity. Even the proudest natives, the people who love this island the most, question themselves in March.

Why the hell do we live on this godforsaken spit of gray sand?

Spring, summer, and fall are different. Spring brings the yellow daffodils, summer brings the Mykonos-blue sky, fall brings the rusty-red cranberry bogs. And they all bring the tourists. Sure, the tourists come with their downsides. But they come. Life! After Christmas Stroll in December, they all leave. They return to mainland America and beyond, to places that have such things as McDonald’s and Staples and BJ’s and businesses that are open past January. And color. They have color.

COLD, WET, AND miserable, she arrives at the row of gray mailboxes lining the side of the road, opens the door to her box, pulls out three pieces of mail, and quickly shoves them inside her coat to protect them from the rain.

C’mon, Grover. Home!

They turn around and begin retracing their route. With the rain and wind pushing behind her now, she’s able to look up to see where she’s going instead of mostly down at her feet. Ahead of them in the distance, someone is walking toward them. She wonders who it could be.

As they get closer, she figures out that the person is a woman. Most of Beth’s friends live mid-island. Jill lives in Cisco, which isn’t too far from here, but in the other direction, toward the ocean, and this woman is too short to be Jill. She’s wearing a hat, a scarf wrapped around her nose and mouth, a parka, and boots. It would be hard to recognize anyone in that getup in this weather, but surely, Beth must know who it is. There are only so many people who would be out walking in this neighborhood in this weather on a Thursday in March. There are no weekenders or day-trippers out for a stroll on Nantucket today.

They’re a few yards apart now, but Beth still can’t identify her. She can only see that the woman’s hair is long and black. Beth prepares to say Hello, and she’s already smiling when the woman is directly in front of her, but the woman is fixated on the ground, refusing eye contact. So Beth doesn’t say Hello, and she feels sheepish for smiling. Grover wanders over for a sniff, but the woman skirts by too quickly and is then behind them before Beth or Grover can learn anything more about her.

Still curious after a few steps, Beth looks back over her shoulder and sees the woman at the row of mailboxes, toward the far end.

Probably a New Yorker, she mutters as she turns around and presses on toward home.

Safe inside, Grover shakes himself, sending water everywhere. She’d normally scold him for doing this, but it doesn’t matter. Just opening the door splashed a bucket’s worth of water into the mudroom. She removes her hat and coat, and the mail falls to the ground. She kicks off her boots. She’s soaked through.

She peels off her wet socks and jeans, tosses them into the laundry room, and slips into a pair of fleece pajama bottoms and a pair of slippers. Feeling warmer and drier and immediately happier, she returns to the front door to collect the mail from the floor, then walks back to the couch. Grover has returned to the braided rug.

The first piece of mail is the heating bill, which will probably be more than their monthly mortgage payment. She decides to open it later. The next is a Victoria’s Secret catalog. She ordered one push-up bra three Christmases ago, and they still keep sending her catalogs. She’ll toss it into the fire. The last piece of mail is an envelope hand-addressed to her. She opens it. It’s a card with a birthday cake pictured on the front.

May all your wishes come true.

Huh, that’s strange, she thinks. Her birthday isn’t until October.

Inside, the words Happy Birthday have been crossed out with a single, confident ballpoint blue line. Below it, someone has written:

I’m sleeping with Jimmy.

PS. He loves me.

It takes her a few seconds to reread it, to make sure she’s comprehending the words. She’s aware of her heart pounding as she picks up the envelope again. Who sent this? There’s no return address, but the postmark is stamped from Nantucket. She doesn’t recognize the handwriting. The penmanship is neat and loopy, a woman’s. Another woman’s.

Holding the envelope in one hand and the card in the other, she looks up at the fireplace mantel, at her perfectly centered wedding picture, and swallows. Her mouth has gone dry.

She gets up and walks to the fireplace. She slides the iron screen aside. She tosses the Victoria’s Secret catalog onto the fire and watches the edges curl and blacken as it burns and turns to gray ash. Gone. Her hands are shaking. She clenches the envelope and card. If she burns them now, she can pretend she never saw them. This never existed.

A swirl of unexpected emotion courses through her. She feels fear and fury, panic and humiliation. She feels nauseous, like she’s going to be sick. But what she doesn’t feel is surprised.

She closes the gate. With the card and envelope squeezed in her fist, she marches up the stairs, emphasizing each loud step as she heads toward Jimmy’s snoring.

CHAPTER 2

Olivia strips down to her underwear and changes into sweatpants, socks, and her oldest, favorite Boston College sweatshirt. Drier but still freezing, she hurries downstairs to the living room and presses the button on the remote to the fireplace. She stands in front of the instant blaze and waits and waits, but it doesn’t throw off any noticeable heat. She touches the glass with the palm of her hand. It’s barely warm. It was David’s idea to convert the fireplace to gas. Better for the tenants. More convenient and less messy.

Although they’ve owned the cottage for eleven years, she and David have never actually lived here. They bought it as an investment just before the housing market boomed and prices skyrocketed. David, a business major who reluctantly stepped into his family’s real estate business after college, is always keeping his eye on properties with potential. He’s all about location, location, location. He looks for a fixer-upper in the right neighborhood, buys it, hires contractors to renovate the kitchen and baths and to paint the interior and the exterior, then he sells it. The goal is always to flip it fast, a SOLD sign on the front lawn and a tidy profit sitting fat and pretty in his pocket.

But Nantucket was different for David. With almost 50 percent of the island designated as conservation and forever wild, leaving only half of the almost fifty square miles buildable, David wasn’t interested in flipping this house. He assured Olivia that the property value would never dip below what they paid for it. The house is nothing special, a modest three-bedroom cottage with little remarkable about any of the rooms or layout. But situated less than a mile from Fat Ladies Beach, it’s a highly desirable vacation property, and David correctly guessed that they would always more than cover their annual mortgage payments with summer rentals.

It’s a smart investment for our future, he’d said, back when they could so blissfully imagine a future.

They stayed in the house for a week or two each year in the shoulder seasons, usually in October, but stopped coming altogether after Anthony turned three. Pretty much everything stopped after Anthony turned three.

A violent gust of wind screams in the distance, sounding to Olivia like a small child crying out in pain. The windows rattle, and a cold breeze dances along the skin of her bare neck. She shivers. Nantucket in winter. This is going to take some getting used to.

She rubs the palms of her hands together, trying to create some friction to warm them. Dissatisfied, she wonders where she might find a blanket. She’s only been here nine days, and she’s still learning where everything is, still feeling like a guest in someone else’s home. A stranger at the inn. She searches the linen closet, finds a gray, woolen blanket she vaguely remembers buying, wraps it around her shoulders, and snuggles into the living-room chair with the mail.

The bills are still sent to their house in Hingham, a small, suburban town on Boston’s South Shore, so she hasn’t yet received anything but home-repair-service advertisements, local election postcards, and coupon flyers, but today she knows she has some real mail.

Before even opening the first, she knows it’s a book from her old boss, Louise, a senior editor at Taylor Krepps. The envelope has a yellow forwarding-address sticker on it. Louise doesn’t know that Olivia has moved to Nantucket. She doesn’t know about Anthony either.

She doesn’t know anything.

Olivia hasn’t worked as a junior editor to Louise in self-help books at Taylor Krepps Publishing for five years now, but Louise still sends her advance reader copies. Maybe it’s Louise’s way of keeping the door open, of trying to entice Olivia back to work. Olivia suspects Louise has simply never gotten around to taking her off the mailing list. Olivia’s never hinted to Louise that she’d ever come back; it’s been a couple of years since she’s sent a note thanking her or commenting on a book, and even longer since she’s read any of them. But they keep coming.

She doesn’t have the heart or stomach to read anybody’s self-help anymore. She’s no longer interested in anyone’s advice or wisdom. What do they know? What does it matter? It’s all bunk.

She used to believe in the power of self-help books to educate, inform, and inspire. She believed that the really good ones could transform lives. When Anthony turned three and they were told with certainty what they were dealing with, she believed she’d find somebody somewhere who could help them, an expert who could transform their lives.

She scoured every self-help book, then every medical journal, every memoir, every blog, every online parent support network. She read Jenny McCarthy and the Bible. She read and hoped and prayed and believed in anything claiming help, rescue, reversal, salvation. Somebody somewhere must know something. Somebody must have the key that would unlock her son.

She opens the envelope and holds the book in her hands, rubbing the smooth cover with her fingers. She still loves the feel of a new book. This one is called The Three Day Miracle Diet by Peter Fallon, MD.

Hmph. Miracle, my ass.

She used to attend conferences and seminars. Please, expert Dr. So-and-So, show us the answer. I believe in you. She used to go to church every Sunday. Please, God, give us a miracle. I believe in you.

Sorry, Dr. Fallon. There are no miracles, she thinks, and tosses the book to the floor.

She holds up the cardboard envelope from David next, staring at it for a long moment before carefully tearing the tab and upending it.

Three white, round, perfectly smooth rocks fall into her lap. She smiles. Anthony’s rocks. And three of them. She shakes the envelope. There aren’t any more. He would’ve liked that there are only three and not one or two or four. He loved things that came in threes. The Little Pigs, One-Two-Three-Go, Small-Medium-Big. Of course, he never said the words to her, Mom, I like the Three Little Pigs story. But she knew.

She rolls the three small rocks in the palm of her hand, enjoying the cool, smooth feel of them. When she’s done with the mail, she’ll add them to the glass bowl on the coffee table already containing at least fifty more of Anthony’s white, round rocks. A shrine in a bowl.

Anthony wouldn’t have liked his rocks in Olivia’s bowl on the coffee table, however. He preferred them lined up like perfectly straight rock parades on the floor, all over the house. Heaven forbid Olivia should ever clean up and put his rocks back in his box in his bedroom. But sometimes, she couldn’t help herself. Sometimes she simply wanted to walk through the house and not kick through a rock parade. Sometimes she simply wanted to walk through a normal house. It was always a huge mistake. They didn’t live in a normal house. And change, however small, was never Anthony’s friend.

She peeks into the envelope and sees a folded piece of stationery.

Found these three under the couch.

Love, David

She smiles, thanking him for taking the time to send her three rocks, for knowing she’d want them. And the Love, David. She knows these words aren’t throwaway or insincere. She still loves him, too.

The rest of Anthony’s rocks are in his box, now in her bedroom. It was one of the few things she insisted on bringing with her on her final trip over, and it was no small feat getting it here. She lugged it, sweating and questioning her sanity, from the backseat of David’s car to the ferry in Hyannis, from the ferry to the taxi in Town, from the taxi to her bedroom here. More than once she thought about dumping the rocks overboard on the way over, freeing herself from the physical and emotional burden of carrying all the damn rocks. But they’re Anthony’s damn rocks. Beautiful damn rocks collected from the beach and obsessively lined up in rows by her beautiful boy, now artfully displayed in the glass bowl on the coffee table.

So the damn rocks came with her. She left behind her cookbooks, her collection of books she helped edit at Taylor Krepps, all of her novels. She didn’t take any of the furniture, the appliances, or any dishware. She left Anthony’s clothes still folded in his drawers, his bed unmade, his Barney DVDs in the TV console cabinet, all of the educational toys he never played with, his toothbrush in the holder in the bathroom, his coat on the hook by the front door.

She brought her clothes, her jewelry, her camera, and her computer. And she brought her journals. Someday, she’ll have the courage to read them.

She also left all of her photographs—her college album, their wedding and honeymoon albums, the collection of arty shots she used to take of sunsets and trees and seashells, the best of which adorn the walls of their house, Anthony’s baby album. She left it all with David. She feels as if that life didn’t happen to her. It happened to some other woman.

She kept only one picture. She looks up at the eight-by-ten photograph framed, matted, and hung on the wall over the fireplace, that one picture that took many hours over many days of patient

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4.1
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  • (4/5)
    This is a poignant, moving story about a difficult, and misunderstood topic, autism. The author gives the reader an insight into the life of a young autistic boy and the struggles his parents, especially his mother, have to face, and gives Anthony a voice. Beautifully written, I was in tears by the end. I am becoming a big fan of Lisa Genova. She writes about little known medical conditions with sensitivity, knowledge and respect.
  • (4/5)
    I've enjoyed the Lisa Genova books I've read of listened to, but this one started out a little too “women's fiction” for my tastes. However, it didn't take me long to get into this story of love (love, not romance – this isn't a “romance” novel), loss, autism. One of the turns really did stretch credulity a bit for my tastes, but it was still a lovely book and I think fans of Ms Genova will enjoy it.
  • (5/5)
    I don't even know what to say about this book except "five stars." I absolutely loved it. The narrators are two women who live on Nantucket; both are struggling in their marriages, trying to find their purpose in life, and they both find it in different ways. Beth is trying to heal after her husband cheated on her, and turns back to her love of writing. Olivia, a former book editor, photographs families on the beach as if trying to replace what she lost when her autistic son died. The two characters meet, but the way their lives intersect is beautiful - they don't become best friends or anything hokey, and it works perfectly. Genova's characters were so real I wanted to go to their houses and talk about every aspect of their lives with them. I wanted to know Olivia's son, I wanted to read Beth's book.
  • (3/5)
    I listened to the audio book and even though it was fun having Debra Messing read the story, I could not get into this book until disc 4 (out of 8). Yes, I almost stopped after the first 3 CDs but the reviews were good for this book and I really enjoyed Still Alice and Inside the O'Briens that I wanted to give this a chance. Once it got going, this book was a beautiful story about two women who were experiencing different heartbreaks and struggling with how to move past what had happened. They meet innocently and slowly bond. If you ever have struggled with a heartbreak and struggle, or have had a child with autism, this is worth your while. Give it a chance if you struggle with it at first. I would have given it four stars if it hadn't started so slow.
  • (3/5)
    Two women, both struggling with life changes, are brought together by a chance encounter and they help each other move on. One is the parent of an autistic child that has died and the other is facing the end of her marriage. I thought the voice of the autistic boy was very authentic and the struggles of his parents very real. This author really does her research. If you like this book read her other book Still Alice.
  • (5/5)
    Such a heart wrenching read about Anthony a little boy that has Autism, but written with such empathy and warmth.A beautiful story as all that Lisa Genova's are. (less) [edit]1
  • (3/5)
    I was reallly looking forward to this, having loved Lisa Genova's previous novels, [Still Alice] and [Left Neglected]. In those books, she weaves an interesting story around neuro disorders (Alzheimer's, "Left Neglect"). Here, she weaves a story around autism. But it didn't affect me the same way.In Love, Anthony, two women living on Nantucket Island are facing different crisises. Beth's husband has been cheating, and she is unsure what course to pursue. Olivia is grieving the death of her young autistic son. Their stories are very believable, and I cared about both women. I loved the first 2/3 of this book. But when the stories come together, it is with a huge spiritual coincidence. It's not believable, and that ruined the story for me.Disclosure: I received this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a unbiased review.
  • (3/5)
    Not nearly as wrenching as Still Alice, but a good book. Follows a year in the life of two women, one who deals with a broken marriage, one who deals with a son's death, both dealing with personal identity. A bit of a beach read -- especially because the beach is so often referenced in the story! -- but serious enough not to be flippant or ridiculous.

    Debra Messing's read is good, but she has a tendency to swallow or get quiet at the end of her sentences/clauses, which means the volume needs to be rather high.
  • (5/5)
    Again Lisa Genova has provided a captivating read! The story of two women living on the island of Nantucket, whose lives intersect in the most unusual way. Both grieving for something they have lost and looking for answers to where they should go to move forward with their lives. I recommend reading this book.
  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed Still Alice, Lisa Genova's novel about a woman facing early onset Alzheimer's. Her next novel, Left Neglected, about a woman suffering from the neurological condition of left neglect was another good read. When I received Love Anthony in the mail as a part of my postal mailbox book club, I was quite pleased to read a third novel of hers, this one centered on non-verbal autism. There's so little we actually know for sure about how our wonderful, amazing brains work that Genova's insights into specific functioning and the people living with the conditions or results is interesting indeed. But unlike her previous two novels, this one didn't work as well for me at all.Beth is a married mother of three whose world comes crashing down on her when she discovers a note in the mailbox telling her that her husband Jimmy is cheating on her. She kicks him out and has to start the process of healing and of adjusting to life as a single mom. Her questions about how they got to where they did and her grief and despair are palpable in her story. Slowly she discovers that she must find the self she hid away long ago before she can consider what the future might hold. One of the things that she allowed to fall by the wayside in her marriage and motherhood is her love of writing, something she determines to reclaim even as she continues going about her daily life as a year rounder on the island of Nantucket.Olivia has just separated from her husband and moved to Nantucket to the vacation home they once shared. She is not only mourning the loss of her marriage but she is still deeply frozen in grief over the death of her non-verbal autistic eight year old son. Anthony suffered a subdural hematoma after falling during a seizure and his loss has left her with so many questions, foremost among them whether he knew she loved him if he himself didn't have words and what the meaning of his short life was. The extreme isolation of Nantucket in the winter turns out to be a perfect place for Olivia to escape from the sorrow of Anthony's loss and the sadness that caring for him exhausted she and David so much that they couldn't find their way back together in the shared wake of his death.While these two story lines do eventually come together, getting there took altogether too much time. Initially the parallel seems to be the women's disintegrating marriages but there's really no similarity to them at all. Of course, there's also the prologue where Beth adds a round white rock to Anthony's line of white rocks on the beach years prior, meant to convey Beth's sympathy for this unknown and clearly unusual child and perhaps lays the groundwork for a later fantastical occurrence. The narrative jumps back and forth between Beth and Olivia, with Olivia's portions also containing reminiscences of life with Anthony. Beth's portions come to include pieces of the novel she starts to write, a novel from the perspective of an autistic boy. Neither Beth nor Olivia was really all that well fleshed out as characters and the jumps in time in the narrative compressed feelings, moving Olivia and Beth along their own timelines without giving any sense of the hard work they had to be doing. Olivia's sense of alienation and her sorrow over the end of her marriage is more examined than Beth's feelings about her marriage, perhaps because David is rarely present in the narrative while Jimmy, still living and working on Nantucket, is. And if Genova hadn't gone farther, it would have been an okay but not great book centered more on marriages and how they fall apart than on autism. Instead, she uses Beth's book to turn the focus entirely. Beth writing about a child with autism without any direct experience of such didn't bother me at all. That she could so easily capture such a child without any research at all did. And the twist offered to explain this was a bridge too far.The parallels between the boy in Beth's book and Olivia's Anthony started small enough but soon ballooned into absurdity. That Beth was in actual fact channeling Anthony rather than writing a book of her own cheapened Beth's effort to re-connect with writing and with her former interests. In fact, it is clearly Anthony's book, not Beth's. Can she really be said to have started writing again if it is all because she is his conduit? I can certainly buy the idea that Anthony had an active internal voice and unexpressed (because of his non-verbalness) reasons for his outward actions but the passages in his voice felt contrived and inauthentic, reading more as if this is what the author hopes is true than as a true possibility. As if this isn't bad enough, the excerpted parts of Anthony's story are actually rather dull after a while and unlikely to be the kernel of a viable novel. The ending of the larger novel was a let down as well. Beth's sense that the words "you don't have the right ending yet" referred to more than just the novel was a trite about-face after all her measured thinking and hard fought conclusion about her marriage to Jimmy. Maybe getting back together with him was the "right ending" but it was too easy and too unexplained after all that went before it. Olivia's ending was equally easy and unearned. As for Anthony's final letter presented in the epilogue, call me heartless, but I felt manipulated rather than satisfied but maybe this was residual annoyance with what had gone beforeObviously this had major problems for me and I'm sorry for that because I wanted to be amazed. Maybe the problem was that Genova had to channel her most interesting character (Anthony) and his thoughts through another character rather than him telling his own story, all of his own story, through his perspective. Having Anthony dead for the entire narrative made it more obvious the toll it can take caring for a child like him, who needs so much that giving to a spouse and even keeping a sense of yourself, is wildly difficult, but it also meant far less of him, his thinking, and the daily life he led in a world not designed for him. The subject of autism is a fascinating one and I wish this had delivered on it so much more than I felt it did. On the other hand, there are many rave reviews of the book so you might want to discount my opinion entirely!
  • (3/5)
    I liked this story, it is sad to have a child with this condition.
  • (4/5)
    An interesting and enjoyable read. For fans of Still Alice.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely incredible! Such a beautiful reminder of how connected we all are
  • (5/5)
    What an awesome book with parts read in Anthony’s voice. It really made me think about autism in ways I never had. A very emotional and wonderful book!
  • (5/5)
    A beautiful story. After reading Still Alice, I knew I needed to read more titles by this author and I am so happy that I did.
  • (3/5)
    Good story but a lot of language and new age philosophy.
  • (3/5)
    I read this for a bookclub and appreciated the author's efforts to bring autism and the challenges if poses within families; however, I did not find the characters to be very well developed. Strangely, the one character I did get a sense of was Anthony, and perhaps that was the author's intent. I felt both the male and female adults in the story were somewhat stereotypical, with little depth. I do plan to read one of Genova's earlier books, Still Life, and will see how that compares. I do admire the author's dogged research into the difficult topics addressed in her novels. My question is how her main character in the novel managed to become so knowledgable about autism without doing years of research...is the reader the accept the channeling of the spirit of one who has passed?
  • (4/5)
    While this wasn't as good as Still Alice and Left Neglected, I did read this book straight through.
  • (5/5)
    Some books only stir and tug at a reader’s heart, others, like Love Anthony, leave behind imprints of inspiration.This book focuses on two women in Nantucket, who are distraught and overwhelmed with grief.Beth Ellis is grieving from her husband’s infidelity and Olivia Donatelli from the loss of her son and her marriage. Beth and Olivia will eventually discover that they both hold close to their heart, a common bond. And it is through this tender bond that they will both find, their road to healing.Beth is a writer and is crafting a story about a child with autism. Her inspiration for this story came from a memory of a little boy whose excitement grew every time the ocean water splashed over his row of rocks. Olivia was an editor, or at least she used to work as one, but that was before her life began to unravel. Now, for at least the time being, she was staying in her Nantucket cottage; the one she kept when her marriage ended. It was what she wanted anyway. David could keep the house in Hingham; she didn’t care, it came with too many memories. She needed a rest from them, especially from the memory of that awful day when she lost Anthony. Olivia wasn’t sure just how long she would stay in Nantucket. She knew eventually, she’d have to go back to work, but for the time being, she was going to try her hand at photography. Everyone it seemed wanted a family portrait here in Nantucket, on the beach. In fact, that’s how she met Beth Ellis. Beth hired her for her photography services.Lisa Genova has a talent for hooking the reader from the very beginning and placing them in the midst of all her characters’ lives. I know, I immediately cared for Beth and Olivia, and wanted to know more about them, but it was the little boy Anthony who really captured my heart.The author gives her readers a precious gift, the ability to see the world through an autistic child’s eyes: Anthony’s. No reader will be able to look at an autistic child the same way again because with each child, they’ll see Anthony, the boy they fell in love with and now understand.There is a mystical piece to the story, which may bother some readers. I loved it and felt that it only enhanced Lisa Genova’s story. I work every day with autistic children and found that the way the author decoded the mysteries of Autism for the reader was not only profound, but very accurate.I highly recommend adding this book to your library. If I could give it ten stars I would, it’s that good. Don’t miss it.~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover
  • (4/5)
    Another good book by Lisa Genova. Once you start you'll want to finish it as soon as you can.

    Love Anthony tells the story of Olivia, whose eight-year-old autistic son has passed away. She comes to Nantucket to find some answers to questions that have been nagging at her about Anthony. "Why my son?" "Why my family?"

    It also tells the story of Beth, a stay-at-home mom who is recently separated from her husband after finding out about his cheating. Alone, she rekindles her passion for writing. A passion she can share with Olivia.
  • (5/5)
    A sad, poignant, uplifting, gripping story of Anthony and the effect he had. Anthony, diagnosed with autism, doesn't speak, or make eye contact, but is and is loved. His death has torn his parents apart. Olivia, struggling with her own issues, finds Anthony's voice and a way to bring healing.Have the tissues ready!
  • (5/5)
    Love Anthony infuses the depression of loss, abandonment, death, and divorce with the magical voice of an autistic child.With only a borderline stretch, it all feels strangely real.A welcome sequel would bring a happy baby nine months from David and Olivia's last clear night in November.He would hopefully become less of an "I signed the papers" deserter as he evolved into co-parenting ... ?
  • (4/5)
    Since I had read and enjoyed the author's two books, Still Alice, and Left Neglected, I was anxious to read Love Anthony. I knew next to nothing about autism and feel that Ms. Genova does a great job in educating people about it within this novel, just like she educated us about early on-set Alzheimer's disease in Still Alice and a brain disorder in Left Neglected.Love Anthony is set on Nantucket which seems to be a place several of my favorite authors like to write about. Two women with their own problems meet and their lives intersect. Of course, the autism of one of their sons in the heart of this story. The novel details not only the autistic boy but shows what it's like for the parents/family and how all the stress can harm a marriage.Strong characters, attention to detail, and a nice flow made this an enjoyable novel. I am looking forward to Ms. Genova's next novel.
  • (3/5)
    Definitely not my favourite book by Lisa Genova. I found the characters, generally, weakly drawn and the premise of the connection between Beth and Anthony and Beth and Olivia largely unconvincing.
  • (5/5)
    It took me awhile to see where this book was going, but I loved the way the two women's lives were connected yet separate for most of the story. Each was dealing with her own private grief, but managed to help each other move on when all was said and done. I look forward to reading another of Lisa Genova's books.
  • (3/5)
    There is a spoiler tag in here but due to GR unreliable system, I've decided to hide the entire review so that it doesn't get accidentally ruined for anyone who might be planning to read it.

    Likes:

    Note: I'll be editing this in later today when the book is at hand. There were a few really great passages in this one!

    Dislikes:

    Beth reading 2 books on autism and suddenly being able to write about it adeptly and it mirroring Olivia's journal entries about Anthony IDENTICALLY. Pringles, Barney, swings, playgrounds, routes home, rock lines, etc. There wasn't even an attempt to make them relatable variations of each other, it is more like a clairvoyant writing. (ETA: Even down to the exact name chosen at "random" by Beth! Give me a break. The ending was really weak, in my opinion and I was disappointed to see Beth get back together with husband. Olivia makes pseudo-progress in her life and the plot doesn't develop well, especially not in comparison with her other novels.

    It bugged me, just a little bit, how Olivia was able to become a "professional portrait photographer" without any struggle at all and without any experience or knowledge of it. She even remarks just how simple it was and how she undercut every other business by 200$ a sitting. Being that I've worked in professional photography, both portrait studio and commercial NBA/MLB sports, I know how difficult it is in reality and it comes as a bit of a slap in the face the way Genova writes it.

    It pains me to say that this has been my least favorite Genova book so far. Her knowledge and ability to spin human stories is quite good but this book just went a bit eye-rolly for me.
  • (3/5)
    Two women meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship. Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. She comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony's short life. Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband's long-term infidelity. Summary BPLIn her acknowledgments Ms Genova writes that she spent two years researching autism: the condition,its impact on families, spousal and filial relationships. But she adds that when you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism. In other words, no stereotyping.I think the author was most successful when writing about Anthony's parents, the day to day travail of caring for and providing services for a child with autism; the harrowing pain of letting go--expectations, plans and dreams. The chapters in Anthony's voice seemed to me, at best, wishful thinking.The Barney touch will have many readers smiling in understanding.7 out of 10 For readers who enjoy reading psychological fiction, with an interest in autism.
  • (3/5)
    The first book I read by Lisa Genova was Still Alice (which I loved). However this book was much slower going and I was not totally engrossed. Although I understand Autism much better now than I did previously, I think the premise of the writer channeling the dead boy was not developed enough to be believable.
  • (4/5)
    This book has so many levels to it. Autism and Anthony's story are the base to a novel about marriages and infidelity and friendship and lonliness. About the lose of a child and the lose of a marriage.It is cleverly wrapped around Beth writing a book that is writing Olivia's story of her autistic son Anthony. The ending she needs to write in the book is the ending of the book. Somehow it all works. Well done.
  • (3/5)
    Though well-written, I didn't find this book quite as engaging as Genova's first book, Still Alice. I do like how she approaches and gets inside disorders that we (the general public) often know little about. Apart from writing a good story, I think Genova, with her background in neuroscience, provides a much-needed service in explaining in understandable language, the difficulties, and experiences of (in this case) autism.