Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 17 April 2012
A beautifully written, beautifully paced and, well, beautiful book.
The central character, Joe, grabbed my attention and affection right from the start. Other reviewers here have speculated that his emotional difficulties may describe autism. This didn't actually occur to me while I was reading and I'm not sure it's quite the right interpretation. Perhaps we simply don't need to label our different drummers.
I always find it interesting when a female author writes a male protagonist (and vice versa). It's potentially risky but here (admittedly from my female perspective), Joe rings true both as a 14-year-old and later as an adult. All the book's characters are convincing and I find myself wanting to know more about what happens to them.
This is an uplifting and surprising book which treats mental/emotional problems with sensitivity and no sentimentality. It has wonderful lighter moments, and the bitter-sweet ending left me hopeful while making me weep.