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on 20 July 2016
After reading the sample download I was hooked enough to buy the rest of the book - then discovered that the best part of the book is the prologue and the first chapter. I was expecting a novel about an autistic or Asperger child, what I got was a completely trashy novel mainly focusing on the lack of sex life of the mother. Far from feeling sympathy for the woman I found myself becoming increasingly irritated by her so-called wit and humorous comments, most of which are not funny at all. I felt that Ms Lettes was trying to show off how 'educated' she is but just comes across as being smug and superior! A couple of chapters are actually embarrassing to read, just the idea of discussing my sex life graphically with my mother and sister makes my toes curl, and I think most women would hate their mother talking like this. I appreciate that a single parent with a child that is in any way outside ' the norm' may find it difficult to form a relationship, but this whole area could have been handled so much better. Another issue I have with the novel is that I didn't feel I knew any more about the mother at the end of the book than at the start apart from deciding I didn't like her very much. She seems to have no friends (although there is vague reference late in the book where she mentions losing touch with them) which isn't completely surprising for such a dull character, and she seems to have not considered joining any sort of support group where she'd meet other parents with the same difficulties. My advice to anyone considering buying this in the hope of understanding Aspergers or autism a bit more is not to bother and to watch the adorable Daniel in Channel 4s 'The Undateables' instead
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on 23 August 2017
An excellent story, with many parallels to life with my autistic grandson. Kathy writes in an amusing and entertaining way, whilst still conveying the problems and tribulations of day to day life with someone who frequently thinks and behaves in a black and white manner and with a lack of empathy for others. We can all feel emotional at the positive outcomes in the book. The book describes a family whose life is both uplifting and exasperating, exactly as life can be, with a child on this spectrum.
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on 29 March 2012
It was reading Mad Cows in the mid 90s that first introduced me to chick lit and I went on to read a few more of Kathy Lette's novels before starting to bore of her style. I now tend to find her constant barrage of one-liners a bit exhausting. All these years on I'm now the mother of an autistic child and so returned to her because of it being written from experience about living with an autistic child. Unfortunately, her writing style hasn't changed in that time and I still felt that I was being attacked by puns, which makes it very hard going at times. Too much Kathy!

Essentially the plot of the novel is that of so many chick-lits - a harrassed, imperfect 30-something woman's quest for the happily ever after. I have to say that I didn't particularly warm to Lucy in her quest for love, to be fair I didn't really care if she got laid or not. I wanted to know about her and Merlin.

As far as the practical reality of parenting a child like Merlin, as many other reviewers have pointed out, it seems generally inaccurate (maybe she coped with a diagnosis in Australia or maybe that's how it was 20yrs ago). The schools, NHS and support services in this are utterly useless. In reality, it wouldn't have cost a fortune to get a diagnosis (NHS!, Merlin would have had a statement of SEN to ensure he was able to access the curriculum abd Lucy would've been overloaded with advice and support. My sense was that this was exaggerated for comic relief but I would be concerned about recommending this book to someone with a recent diagnosis in case it got them panicked.

And it is the relationship between Lucy and Merlin which I found to be the redeeming feature of the book. Despite everything that happens you know that there is a really strong, loving bond between them. As well as rewarding and funny, parenting any special needs child can make you frustrated, angry and exhausted and this is evident in Lucy. But you know that despite her complaining, she wouldn't swap him for the world. The end is truly lovely.

I had great hopes that this would be a novel that really went into the day to day reality of living with a learning difficulty in a way that would raise awareness in the wider population as well as maybe teaching me something new. But essentially it is just rather formulaic chick-lit. However, maybe I'm being harsh - who's to say this isn't a good way to raise awareness. It would be interesting to hear what a chick-lit fan with no experience of ASC thinks.
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on 26 March 2012
I had expected this book to be about the relationship between the mother and her son with Aspergers,and to include the day to day life that having a child with Aspergers is. Meltdowns,the child being bullied,the ongoing rounds with doctors and therapists,the rages the child can have-everything. Instead it was more about the mother and her quest to date,her sex life and descriptions of it. Rather than meltdowns and rages,her son often said sweet,whimsical things. None of the repetitive type speech that is the norm. There are references to problems with school-but she just seems to accept when told her son is just "naughty" rather than do what any parent of a child on the spectrum would do,which is to fight for them and educate people. I have to say,I was disappointed-I expected this book to be something I could relate to. It wasn't.
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on 31 August 2017
I really wanted to enjoy this book as I have a son with high functioning Asperger's myself. However, I just could not relate to the characters at all. Whilst I know all children are different, Merlin bears no resemblance to my son and his 'little foibles', appearing far more advanced in sexual matters than most young boys. As for Lucy, she seemed to be either in complete denial, or more interested in her own life than Merlin's. Yes, it's a work of fiction, but would benefit by being a bit more realistic.
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on 11 August 2017
A story which will definitely test your emotions. It is gripping easy to read and certainly make you ask questions about how people handle uncomfortable situation such as neglect of a child.
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on 7 April 2012
The Boy Who Fell To Earth I bought this book after seeing a television interview with the author. I understood that the book was to be a true account of living with an autistic child. It turned out to be fiction with a lot of unnecessary swear words. Very disappointing.
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on 26 January 2014
Massive WOW to Kathy Lette - what an amazing story. I laughed and cried. I was so gripped and never wanted the story to end. Lucy is a heroine. Merlin is a hero. Everyone must read this - not least as it will give you very accurate insight about life with a child who has Aspergers.
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on 21 April 2012
This book is based on fact and explains how the mind works in a child with Aspergers. I enjoyed the book but was confused as to what extent fiction took over from fact. Details with the problems experienced within the educational system was hard to believe as factual. I did find it entertaining if rather predictable on the romance side.
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on 11 February 2015
I lived through this book with tears and empathy for the author. As a Grandparent of an 11 year old who wishes everyone could think like him
'then they would have much more fun', I found the read very insightful.....of what might be around the corner.
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