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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 April 2017
I bought this as I've known Lauren and her family for many years now and promised a review when I'd finished reading the book.

What I expected was a well written novel drawing from the experiences in Lauren's personal and professional life. What I didn't expect was the rollercoaster of emotions I went through whilst reading the book. The anger at the bullying Matthew suffers at school, the despair that his teachers weren't trained in how to help someone like Matthew and the sorrow that someone is most probably suffering similar abuse right now.

Thank you Lauren for this brilliant and very enlightening book detailing a most misunderstood condition.
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on 9 December 2012
A truly inspiring read, this book gives a real understanding of autism from Matthew's perspective to the point that you feel you are almost inside his head! You can feel his frustration, his black and white, completely literal take on life and his pain and fear when he isn't totally in control of situations and his surroundings.

The chapters alternate between Matthew's narrative and that of his parents and sister - whose lives are all deeply affected by Matthew's autism, but also have many personal complications too.

The book is cleverly written to keep the reader interested and wanting to discover what happens next. It not only opens a door to understanding autism and the descrimination associated with it, but explores numerous different aspects of relationships, between husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and even bullies. It touches on the numerous ups and downs of daily life - from marriage breakdowns and re-marriages to teenage friendships, love and forbidden affairs.

A riveting read - I couldn't put it down from beginning to end and will never look at someone with autism in the same light again. Highly recommended.
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on 4 June 2013
mindblowingly brilliant!

I have just finished reading this book after getting it as a free download off amazon.

WOW! WOW! WOW!

I am gutted....gutted that it had to end, I wanted it to go on forever. I feel a massive hole in my life where Matthew used to be. This book is brilliantly written and shows the reader how people with autism might feel and also the impact their disorder has on those around them. I work in a school and will be far more understanding of how those children are truly feeling after reading this book.

An insightful masterpeice that I will tell everyone I meet to read!

Thank you so much for writing it and sharing your brilliance with everyone.
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on 18 July 2016
Those Who Will Not See is an accomplished first novel, the author having taken on a huge challenge and largely succeeded. It follows the life of an autistic boy and his family from when he is five through to the age of twenty-two. It is told from several points of view: of the boy himself – Matthew, of his sister, and occasionally his mother and father.
The biggest challenge for the author is Matthew’s narrative: putting into words the thoughts and feelings of someone who is by nature less socially interactive or communicative than other people. How does an author translate that into a coherent, flowing narrative, make it convincing, and allow the reader to discover a new and different perspective when just writing from a child’s point of view alone is challenging enough? Clearly Lauren Woodcock has a good understanding of her subject through personal experience – that comes across and gives the reader the trust that they need to know this is realistic, that the story reflects the kind of thoughts and feelings of such a person. The way it is related creates a space to allow your perceptions to be challenged.
That said, I occasionally struggled a little to suspend disbelief: in particular that the teaching profession could have been quite so appalling in modern times, but that could be just my naivety, and perhaps some artistic licence.
I also didn’t get much of a sense of the character of Matthew developing as he grew older: some of the vocabulary attributed to the five-year-old Matthew seems too sophisticated: e.g. “confused,” “background,” and perhaps: “she has made her head drop forwards” – but that is the author’s dilemma – how do you convey the sense of such words as “confusion” without using the word itself?
This is a well-rounded story, a life-affirming read, one that makes you believe you’ve learnt something about what it is to be human, that you have not only been entertained but are better for having read it.
There is not much reference to Sheffield in the story, and most of the place names are fictional.
45 Sheffield novels now reviewed at: [...]
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on 29 April 2013
Let me say first of all that this is not normally my kind of read. As a confirmed Sci-Fi / Biography / True Crime kind of guy, this would normally have passed me by. But, on a passing recommendation from a work colleague, I downloaded and gave it a go. To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

This is one of those personal, diary type reads, which before you know it has drawn you into the world of the characters and has you both cheering and raging at their antics in equal measure. Never in my life had I ever tried to consider the predicament of an individual afflicted by autism, and the level of understanding exhibited by the writer is stark, and at times a little scary. Matthew lives a life of simple logic, failing to appreciate many of life's complexities, and confused by the duplicity of the world around him. His family, friends and colleagues each manage this as best they can. Sadly, too many (and not all of them strangers) take advantage of him - sometimes with consequences which genuinely brought me to tears. That he copes at all is remarkable. That he does it with such grace is something which went a long way to restoring my faith in old fashioned honesty. I know it’s only a story, but I found myself applauding the final outcome as if Matthew were a friend. And when a writer can do that to you…

I’ve never felt prompted to write a book review before – but this one deserves it. Definitely a five star read.
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on 30 November 2013
I have a profoundly autistic niece so have watched , listened and helped in her journey against every organisation/authorities. The poor young man featured in this book is so poorly supported by his family and the authorities it makes uncomfortable reading. As the book is written in the first person Matthew can be well understood and his literal understanding of world can be amusing. What a shame those closest to him didn't fight for him as a child.
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on 7 November 2013
The writer captured what was/is her life in a sensitive way!

Having read the book I was left feeling sad, happy, excited and encouraged.

This book gives a clear account of how autism affected the person and their family as a whole.

Simple yet powerful reading!

It's a must read!
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on 26 January 2013
Being a teacher who works with children with autism it really opened my eyes to how they view the world. You don't, however, have to be interested in autism to enjoy this book it's a book that you will not be able to put down whoever you are and wherever you are! I've recommended it to all the teachers in the staffroom!
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on 8 October 2013
As mum to a son who has autism I am always a bit wary of fictional autistic characters. In this book Matthew has an authentic voice and the difficulties that he and his family experience ring true. Enjoyed it.
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on 6 February 2014
This book is about a boy with autism and its written with humanity and care from someone who clearly understands (from both a personal and professional standpoint) this condition.
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