Book Review: Living Through Charlie

Book Review: Living Through Charlie

While it reads and is labeled as a novel, parents of special needs kids will know that Living Through Charlie is a true story, and that people really did live through it.

“I pull a plastic container off the bottom shelf and in it is Charlie’s orange cup.  I transfer milk from the wrong cup to the right one and set it in front of Charlie.”  Honestly, how many special needs parents haven’t done that before?

Living Through Charlie tells the story of Meg Norton, a wife and mother who dreams of the perfect family -- complete with a white picket fence in sunny Southern California, with kids who go to an elite private pre-school.  What Meg didn’t expect was the mom-eat-mom mentality and that things her son, Charlie, are only getting worse. 

Charlie’s behavior begins to alienate the other moms at the posh pre-school, and Meg has trouble balancing her picture of perfection, her marriage, and her son’s need to march to his own beat. 

What many people will realize from the first pages is that Charlie has a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome, and the struggles of coming to terms with the diagnosis and associated behaviors, as well as the battle with other parents who just don’t simply understand and accompanying feelings of isolation are all things many parents of special needs children go through.

Through Charlie, Meg learns to love and accept him the way he is -- and to do the same for herself.  Her drive to keep her family together and save her son from the toxic world of private school will have the audience cheering. 

Living Through Charlie might not represent every family dealing with autism, but it does cover a lot of common ground, and the story both acts as a support for those families and gives other families an inside look, with the hopes of promoting awareness and compassion.  Author Rebecca Woods tells the story with a healthy dose of humor and with a very human approach.  It’s at times witty and other times sweet, and always very real.

Living Through Charlie is available in bookstores and online retailers.

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Written by: Cara Batema See other articles by Cara Batema
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USD 0.00 USD 39.95 USD 19.95