Thursday, November 1, 2012

Audiobook Review: Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Title:  Love Anthony

Author:  Lisa Genova

Narrator:  Debra Messing

Unabridged Length:  Approx. 11 hrs

Here is a summary of the novel from the publisher's website:

Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.

Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

My Review:
I loved this novel that shows us the perspectives of two very different women that are brought into each others lives for a reason they do not understand.  Although their personal tragedies are different, they are connected by a force that gave me chills as I finished this book. This story is told from both Olivia and Beth in alternating chapters.  I enjoy books that are written in this format and this was no exception.  

After Beth separates from her husband she starts to focus on her life, wondering what happened to the woman she used to be.  She had dreams and desires that were put aside while she focused on her family.  As she assesses her situation, she remembers the joy she had for writing and decides to take up the craft once again.  This is the beginning of a journey, rekindling the person she originally intended too become.

Olivia decides to live alone in her Nantucket summer home year round after the death of her young son.  Not only is her marriage in trouble, but she also struggles with her inner self.  She can't seem to move on with her life, as she reads her old journals daily, describing her usual frustrations with her autistic son.  She is hard on herself as she recalls specific moments, angry she didn't do things differently.

Debra Messing was a wonderful narrator for this novel.  I will go as far to say that I would hate to hear someone else reading this novel.  She brought the characters to life for me, helping to stress the emotional scenes as they arose.  Of course, this wouldn't have been possible without Genova's creation of these characters.  I found it interesting when the writing project Beth was creating, developed into a character of it's own.  Entire chapters were even dedicated to her project.  I have to admit that about halfway through the book, I started to get tired of these chapters, but towards the end when I saw where Genova was going with the storyline, I was amazed.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you the ending of this novel gave me chills.

So much more happens within this novel but I think you should read it yourself to discover its beauty.  With themes of love, friendship, autism, and personal fulfillment, this book is one that shouldn't be missed.  Those reading it for leisure will not be disappointed, but I definitely think it would spark a wonderful book club discussion.  I highly recommend this novel in audiobook form.

My Rating:  5/5

Disclosure:  This audiobook was provided to me by the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

I've got this in print but the audio sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it.

Marie said...

Awesome review!

Marce said...

I think the audio by Debra sounds like it did this novel justice.

I love Lisa Genova as an author but if only the name was changed it would have been more believable for me.

Initially I didn't like the chapts either but it did come together in the end.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I was happy I read this one, and although I liked it, I didn't love it as much as her first book - Still Alice. Still have to try Left Neglected.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I also enjoyed the audio!

Anonymous said...

I do think I want to read this one. Good to know the audio is good.

The Lawver's said...

100% agree with the 5 stars for this one! This book on audio drew me in also into the lives of these two woman and I LOVED it as it could happen to any of us! Chills AND TEARS for me at the end! Fantastic writing in this one!

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