Metro Mama Reviews: Daniel Isn't Talking
Well, I’m making good on summer holiday resolution number 1. I just finished Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach, author of Dying Young. The novel’s heroine, Melanie, is an American living in Britain, with a British husband, Stephen, a four-year-old daughter, Emily, and Daniel, her 3-year-old. The book chronicles Melanie’s journey from her suspicion Daniel is not developing ‘normally’, to his autism diagnosis and her ensuing struggle to help him learn to lead as normal a life as possible. Melanie refuses to accept the pessimistic outlook of family, friends, and medical professionals and gives everything she has to improving her son’s lot.
The book is thought-provoking. I learned more about autism, as I did from reading another good book on the subject, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. The novel also explores the impact of the autism diagnosis on Melanie and Stephen’s marriage as well as the loneliness of a woman who finds herself surrounded by fair-weather friends. I was interested in Melanie’s dealings with medical specialists (most are portrayed as rigid and obstinate). Leimbach must have experience in this department as Daniel is modelled after her autistic son, Nicholas.
The novel is predictable at times, but inspiring and avoids being sentimental (something I loathe).
A very interesting read.