In sometimes excruciating detail, Moorer describes the reality of life with a profoundly autistic child ... Moorer’s saving grace is her deep and fierce love for her son and his surprising ability to connect with her when she least expects it ... Moorer’s candor, humility, and courage shine throughout this inspiring memoir and will likely resonate with parents of children with special needs, as well as those who love and support them.
Some argue that autistic stories should be written by autistic people, that parents have dominated the conversation long enough ... Allison Moorer proves that this can be done with respect ... Some parts of this book are written directly to John Henry ... Others are written to the strangers who stare at him ... At times, these shifts give the memoir a disjointed aspect. Nevertheless, Moorer brings shape and voice to what it means to love and support someone you may never understand ... It’s impossible to know whether John Henry approved of his mother’s story or whether he’ll ever be able to read it. But in this heartfelt book, Moorer delivers a resounding tribute to his powerful impact on her life.
The author’s rawness about her dreams and her use of writing in second person can be overwhelming at times, but those style choices also give readers an experience closest to what she feels day in and day out. Moorer and John Henry’s story will help readers be a little more understanding and listen a little bit closer, even when words cannot be spoken.
... an equally vulnerable and uplifting account of raising a child on the autism spectrum ... both lyrical and frank ... she doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties she’s encountered ... Moorer’s candor and self-doubt are achingly honest and oftentimes funny, making this not a story of heartbreak but a celebration of life’s struggles and rewards. This is a parenting book worth reading twice.
Poignant and profoundly humane, this book plumbs the depths of a mother-child connection and celebrates the human capacity to grow into graceful acceptance of the 'wild and uncontrollable' nature of life. It’s clear that Moorer’s talents extend beyond music, as she builds on the literary promise she demonstrated in her acclaimed first book, Blood (2019). A lyrically candid and heartfelt memoir.