A PEBBLE TO POLISH by Janet Lord Leszl


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A dramatic look at the life of a single mother who learns her child is autistic and must re-frame her worldview accordingly.

In this earnest book that’s high on drama and light on tension, Cassie Delaine’s an ordinary college student on the night of her 21st birthday when a date with a handsome guy leaves her with more than just warm birthday wishes. Coincidentally, days later she learns she is also the newest lottery jackpot winner, a fact she keeps to herself. After she tragically loses her parents in a terrible accident shortly thereafter, Cassie learns she’s pregnant. Fast-forward three years, and Cassie’s a single mom, struggling with her high-energy, into-everything toddler. Young Brian is inflexible about his preferences and routines, won’t make eye contact and arches his back away from Cassie every time he’s picked up. Play dates are disasters, outings end in scenes, and Cassie passively wonders where her happy ending could be, while her frustration with the situation grows to the breaking point. Brian is finally diagnosed as autistic, and it shatters Cassie’s world–she must reconcile the child she believed Brian was with the child he is. When she connects with other moms at local support group, Cassie gets the opportunity to re-examine her idea of a happy ending while she learns how to best meet her son’s needs, balancing them with her own. As she gets more involved with her new friends, she finds unexpected but welcome respite, relief and new meaning in her life. The detailed prose, informative and heart-wrenching by turns, offers readers a glimpse into the lives–the good, the bad and even the ugly–of all kinds of families with autistic children with warmth and compassion.

A well-intended snapshot of one family’s experience with autism.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4196-6449-6
Program: Kirkus Indie
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