Friday, 13 November 2020

Another Us by Kirsten Hesketh - Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book (via BritMums) directly from the author for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click to buy anything through a link on this post, I will earn a few pennies at no extra cost to you.]

Another Us by Kirsten Hesketh - 5/5 
Blurb:
"What if Emma isn't the person she thought she was?

Her younger son has just been diagnosed with autism.

She's accidentally quit her job.

The marriage she was dedicated to suddenly seems like a sham.

She's pretty sure that she is going to have an affair with a hot new dad at the school.

The only thing that stays the same is everyone else. Emma realises it's not them - it's her. But if she's not who she thought she was, can her old life fit in with the new Emma?"

Review:
What a wonderful debut! 

'Another Us' follows the story of Emma and Daniel whose ten-year-old son Jack has been diagnosed with Asperger's. They also have a teenage son called Freddie and eight-year-old Lily. Following Jack's diagnosis, Emma reads a leaflet and learns about "The Statistic" - that 80% of marriages end before the autistic child turns 16. 

The story touches on a lot of subjects and it shows the strain that can be put on a relationship. Emma ends up having to leave her job and is then trying to navigate her new life spending more time at home, trying to give her three children the attention they all need whilst trying to start a freelancing job, and all the while wondering if she could have Asperger's too.

Emma and a few other of the special needs parents form together and try to organise a ball to raise money so that the school can have a group for their children. Emma gets quite close to one of the dads whilst Daniel job takes him to America for a few months. 

As the parent of an autistic child, a lot of this resonated with me. One such scenario was the differences between a tantrum and a meltdown (it infuriates me to this day when people refer to their neurotypical children's tantrums as "meltdowns"). That red mist descends and they truly cannot remember what just happened. A lot of Jack's behaviours reminded me of C, especially the fact that he could transfer files between games consoles "the boy who can't tie his own shoelaces".

This book made me laugh a lot, especially the Aspie parents Murder Mystery evening with the hilarious character names but it made me quite emotional too. I definitely saw a lot of myself in the character of Emma and it was interesting to read the development of their relationship.

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