This heart-warming and witty fictional story explores the recent diagnosis of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome and how a family deal with it.
In her debut novel, author Kirsten Hesketh shows great sensitivity to highlight Asperger’s in such a clever and witty way, is just pure brilliance and really draws the reader in immediately.
Another Us begins with the Healey family receiving confirmation that Emma and Daniel’s second child, Jack has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and how their lives take on a whole new dimension.
After a few incidents involving Jack, Emma (Mum) takes the decision to leave her Market Researcher’s job and take care of Jack and her other two children Freddie, who’s 14 years old and Lily, 9 years old. Things start to go downhill fast for Emma, especially after her husband Daniel mentions “The Statistic”.
Emma’s life becomes chaotic and unorganised with all the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Things change, not for the better, when a parent’s group is set up for a “Lunch Club” at the primary school for the children with special needs.
The story continues with the Lunch Time Committee, needing to raise money to run this special needs club. The committee is headed up by Virginia, who is portrayed as a bit of a stuck up madam, Mandy the bubbly yet supportive single mum to Dylan and the only male in the group, a boy next door handsome chap named Paul, as well as Emma.
The way the author describes the instant attraction between Paul and Emma, confirms this is only going to end up one way, especially as Daniel ends up moving to America to work for 3 months.
Feeling abandoned, lonely and bereft, Emma starts on a self-absorbed pathway, in a totally confused and child-like way. There are hints throughout the story that suggest Emma’s character may have Asperger’s too.
Thankfully, after a few near mishaps, Emma settles after facing past mental demons. This too, is written in such a charming way, you can’t help but feel compassion for Emma.
I found this book such an easy and compelling read, especially as the author made you feel you were part of this family’s story.
I particularly enjoyed the many funny and heart-warming scenes throughout the book, especially the chapter about “fondue gate” and the consumer groups regarding male and female grooming which are hysterical and made me giggle out loud.
Kirsten Hesketh has a fantastic way with words that shows you a glimpse of the truth to how it might be for a young family living with a child with mild Asperger’s.
This story is both poignant and touching in the way it describes how parents, siblings, extended family and friends as well as the child with Asperger’s all cope with the pressures and strains of the diagnosis differently.
Another Us is such an enchanting, compassionate and uplifting story with many witty and funny storylines. Such a profound and sensitive subject which melted my heart, yet at the same time made me laugh at the one liners.
I hope Kirsten Hesketh will be writing a new book soon, as it will certainly be on my reading wish list.
The Amazon Kindle version of this book was kindly gifted to me, in return for providing an honest and unbiased review.