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Eye Contact Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141024984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141024981
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 627,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Compulsively addictive . . . heartbreaking . . . a moving picture of a boy whose weakest subject is life' Daily Telegraph 'Riveting and unforgettable . . . brilliant' Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater

About the Author

Cammie McGovern is the mother of three young children, including one autistic boy. Eye Contact is her second novel. She lives in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Cammie McGovern writes about autism and childhood with great assurance. Her characters really come to life and she has a writing style that is easy to read and draws you in. This would make a great film. Highly Recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book; not only is it a great mystery, but it also portrays autistic children in a perceptive and moving way that is much truer to the vast majority of such children than "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NIght-time". A colleague of my wife who works extensively with autistic children is recommending this book to all this patients.
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Format: Hardcover
Cara, 31 and her 9-year-old son Adam cope with autism. Adam has an especially severe form of it; he is marginally verbal; insists on routines and does not engage in imaginitive play. Cara is a single mother who works diligently with the boy after he was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

Cara coped with differently abled people all of her life. When she was in elementary school, her classmate and later to become friend Kevin was severely injured in an accident, leaving him with permanent physical limitations. Her best friend Suzette becomes agoraphobic in early adulthood and sequesters herself in her family home after sharing a flat with Cara.

When Cara says that Adam "learned to please her" and "to make her happy" by pretending to use a banana as a telephone after she insisted he do this. Forcing that kind of "pretend play" does not spark imagination; rather, for many people with autism, it is only natural to wonder "what on earth is fun about pretending a banana is a phone? And neurotypicals (NTs) talk about us and the way we play! At least we don't pretend to use edible telephones!" That was my immediate response. Donna Williams addresses this issue as well in her books about autism; what people learn to do is "give the desired response." How right she is!

Cara and Adam's world is irrevocably changed when Adam's 10-year-old classmate Amelia is found murdered near the school playground. Sadly, Adam is a suspect and it takes some clever sleuthing on the part of a 13-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome to crack the case. Morgan, the older child as well as other children in his "special social support group" have been targeted by bullies and subjected to extreme cruelty. Morgan takes an interest in Adam and in time, the pair bond in a fashion.
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By Radiojock TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are so many stories woven into this book that it will take me another read to catch it all, properly. The author writes with such incredible compassion that, apart from the young girl's death, made it a pleasure to read. It took a long time to find out how the child died, and you get a shocking look at how far bullies affect other children. This is something I wish adults would take more of an interest in, just to try and understand what the bullied have to live with. Very well written and presented.
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Format: Paperback
It's well written, and a pleasant enough read, but I didn't find it hugely gripping, maybe because I'm not especially interested in autism. I didn't feel compelled to pick it up every day, it didn't emotionally engage me, but it also didn't lose my interest.

I did find it a bit odd that in what was presumably a fairly small community, that there were apparently so many children with special needs/learning difficulties (maybe school sizes are huge in America even in a small town). There wasn't a single child character who wasn't dysfunctional in one way or another. And a fair portion of the adult characters had mental problems (e.g. depression, agoraphobia, breakdown) and/or difficulty with making friends.

The ending was also a bit implausible, as well as a bit unclear what had actually happened, but not so much that you felt cheated.

I wouldn't actively recommend it as a *must read* book, but if I saw someone who'd bought it and they asked me whether it was any good I'd say, yes, it's not bad, a fairly enjoyable read but you'll probably like it more if you've an interest in autism.
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