I was lucky to get an advance copy of Nan Rossiter’s latest novel, Words Get in the Way. A fiction novel about a mother’s struggle with a child with Autism.
Callie Wyeth is a young single mom living in rural New Hampshire and struggling to make ends meet. Henry is her beautiful three year old son who is trapped in the silent and lonely world of autism. The obstacles they face are overwhelming.
Linden Finch finds peace rebuilding old stone walls. He has loved Callie since he was seventeen but when she unexpectedly and without explanation breaks off their relationship after their third year of college, he is shattered. He never returns to college and instead spends several months hiking the Appalachian Trail. When he finally returns to New Hampshire, he settles into a life of solitude with only a menagerie of rescued farm animals for company.
Callie and Linden have no knowledge of the twists and turns in each other’s life path. After four long years, however, Henry’s autism and her father’s poor health force Callie to return to New Hampshire. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, Linden is stunned to discover that Callie has a son…and he finds himself reaching out and offering help. Henry begins spending time with Linden so Callie can visit her dad and the warm, funny relationship that develops between Henry, Linden and the animals has a profound effect on everyone.
As a mother of an autistic child myself, I was glad to see that the author not only depicted a child with autism in a realistic way, but also the struggles of the mother. So many times books glaze over the mothers feelings or, even worse, trivialize them as the over-bearing and frazzled care takers. Nan Rossiter perfectly captures the emotions from struggles to joy in this book.
One line that resonated with me was this, a thought from Callie,
“Every child has tantrums, she thought, so how does the parent of a child with autism know if the trigger is some inner turmoil or plain, old- fashioned defiance?“
Oh boy do I struggle with this one every day. Sometimes I know Brady is in pain, or nervous and that is the reason for his tantrums, but sometimes I’m not so sure. Everything is a learning experience for the both of us.
In addition to the great story of a mother’s love, there is also a love story in this for the mother. A perfect pairing of romance and the struggles of life with a special needs child, this book is sure to become a favorite.
To learn more about the author, check out this interview in the Housatonic Times.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the book, releasing today, on Amazon or at your local book store.
disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book for my review. Thoughts and opinions are mine an honest. No monetary compensation was made.