Just recently published by HarperCollins is a poignant and moving memoir of a mother as she celebrated first-time motherhood, slowly realizes that her child is not like other children, and helps him navigate through his disabilities with grace and strength.
The Anti-Romantic Child by Priscilla Gilman is an up-close and intensely personal account of what it’s like to be a parent of a child with hyperlexia, a developmental disorder neurologically counterpoint to dyslexia.
Gilman possesses a Ph.D. in English and American literature, and when she found out that she was carrying her and her husband’s first child, she had lofty ideals for her unborn son, as every mother does. She imagined that he would, like his parents, possess the romantic, lyrical personality that embodies those who live and breath the written arts.
The first few months were hard, as is often the case for parents of overly-fussy and sensitive babies. Yet as he grew and neared one year old, it became blatantly evident that little Benjamin held extraordinary abilities within him. Yet as they began to infiltrate him into society, let him intermingle with peers his own age, it became sickeningly apparent that Benjamin’s brilliance was, perhaps, not simply above his developmental level…but maybe the sign of something wrong.
With quips throughout from Gilman’s beloved poets and authors, Gilman’s feelings throughout the entire process of discovering her son’s differences takes on an entirely different feel than most books like this one. Her joys, her sorrows, her celebrations are upheld and charged via the numerous literary references she sows throughout the pages.
Her love for her son and her drive to be his advocate and strength beyond all diagnoses and circumstances ring out above all of the doubts and judgments of others. It is a book that had me cheering, smiling, hurting. It is a very real and raw portrait of the shattered illusion of what motherhood held for one woman….and the subsequent acceptance and celebration of the now new reality of life for her son and her family.
Win it! Here’s how to enter: 1. MANDATORY: Look at the other titles at HarperCollins and tell me, in a comment below, another title you’d love to read. 2) For a second entry, subscribe to Muse Reviews’ feed OR subscribe via email — tell me in a separate comment if you’re a new subscriber or already a subscriber. 3) For a third entry, become friends with Muse Reviews on Facebook, then tell me you did so in a separate comment below. 4) For a fourth entry, twitter about this contest using @MuseReviews within your tweet, then tell me in a separate comment that you twittered! (Only one tweet per person per contest, please.)
I’ll close the contest on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011, at 11:59pm EST. US mailing addresses only. Good luck!
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.
Congrats to the winner, #7, AmandaSue!
FTC info — Disclaimer: I received the above reviewed product from HarperCollins at no cost per my review….but my review is honest and my opinions are my own. I did not receive any other monetary or product compensation for this review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”