“There is no normal, not really. Not a right and a wrong way to be. But there is belonging.”
I'm kind of at a loss when it comes to reviewing this. It's been over a week and I find myself still doing that staring off into space thinking about it thing. Pretty sure anything I put down won't do it justice.
There were more than a few things in this book that struck close to the bone for me but the feelings they elicited were not what I expected they would be. Seeing the world through Emmett's eyes was enlightening and even though his experiences and the experiences of everyone with ASD are not the same the insight he provides into the world of ASD was amazing. I have a friend whose little boy was recently diagnosed with ASD. She is still learning and still trying to discover what his world is like. I discussed this book a lot with her while reading it and I mentioned Emmett's comment about if the seams of his socks were inside how it felt like someone dragging a trowel through his brain. I mentioned it mainly because this is something I can kind of relate to as it also freaks me out. For her it meant something very different and she later told me she went home and cried after I told her, the reason being that this is something that her son has fixated on a lot over the years and that she had lost her temper with him about it a lot, just that one description of how it feels for him provided an insight that she has never had and that he has been unable to communicate. Providing understanding is a pretty powerful gift and Emmett (and therefore Heidi Cullinan) give that gift in this book.
Jeremey was most difficult for me to read. I think that is probably because his 'invisible disease' is more visible in my world than Emmett's. Depression is such a nasty, cruel and hard fought disease and I'm so glad that Jeremey didn't receive a magical 'love' cure.
“I feel bad when people are upset. I feel with them. I'm sorry. I can't turn it off.”
I think the biggest thing I took away from this though is probably the most obvious. The importance of support and understanding. The difference between Jeremey and Emmett's family is startling and by showing them we see the importance of support networks and the importance for a willingness from us all to learn about things that are 'different'.
Emmett and Jeremey's story is a heartfelt one and it's a really beautiful one.
“It’s like Elwood Blues says: everybody needs somebody to love. I’m an everybody. I get a somebody.”
I would love to read David's story. M/M or not. His world is one I am also all too familiar with and I so want to see him get a HEA.