Love Anthony {Review and Giveaway}

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova is not so much a story about the life of the young boy named Anthony as it is a story about the echo he left behind. Anthony had autism, and just as his mother Olivia was beginning to embrace the reality of who he was, his life was cut short by a seizure. Olivia comes to their Nantucket cottage to grieve, leaving her now-estranged husband David at their home near Boston.

For Beth, Nantucket is home, where she lives with her husband Jimmy and their three daughters. Her routine existence is shattered when she learns that Jimmy and a co-worker are having an affair. As Beth examines her life after Jimmy has moved out, she wonders what has become of the adventurous, spontaneous person she used to be – and exactly when she let her ambition to be a writer die out.

Beth begins to write again, inspired by a dream to tell the story of a little boy named Anthony who cannot talk but nonetheless has something to say. Meanwhile, Olivia is reading through the journals she kept while her son was alive, and it soon becomes clear to the reader that we are hearing two sides of the same story.

Genova uses this mystical element in such a powerful way that I was more than willing to suspend my disbelief and immerse myself in the unfolding revelations. There were a number of times that I had to stop and reflect on something in the book that spoke directly to my soul, such as when Olivia is considering how her son’s “severe” autism compared to the “milder” Asperger’s of a fictional character:

Exact opposite ends of the spectrum, like red and violet in a rainbow. In the most obvious ways, they were entirely different, yet she found subtle and surprising similarities that comforted her, restored her hope. Violet isn’t blue because it also contains red.

While it would be easy to recommend this solely as a book about autism, it is really so much more than that. Love Anthony is truly a story that encompasses how Beth and Olivia experience life, from the way each views herself to the way she connects with those around her. And any author that can ask the question, “Why are we here?” and answer it in a way that wrenches open my heart is one that shouldn’t be missed.

I’m pleased to say that we have one copy of Love Anthony to give away. Use the rafflecopter below to enter. We’ll announce the winner here in our book column on October 1.

The winner of The World Almanac for Kids is Renee.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Emily says

    A great novel has characters that feel real. Meaning, they display emotions and the reader feels those same emotions. The plot is engaging and keeps the reader focused throughout the whole book.

  2. Meg says

    Can’t wait to read “Love Anthony”. Lisa Genova is a fantastic author…I highly recommend “Still Alice” and “Left Neglected”!

  3. Gerry says

    I cannot wait to read Lisa Genova’s new book “Love Anthony”. I have a grandson with autism and I am always interested to see how the subject is presented. Lisa Genova writes with sensitivity, compassion and understanding. I’m sure her newest book will be as enjoyable as I have found her last 2.

  4. Andrea Williams says

    What I really love about Lisa Genova’s novels, she can take a heavy topic and develop charming characters that you fall in love with. I’m always enchanted by her writings and often left wanting more. I’ve been looking forwad to reading her new book this I’ve first found out about her new release. :-)

  5. Angie L says

    To me a great novel brings the reader into the lives of the characters and makes the reader think about the book even when they are not reading it!

  6. Angi Price says

    I like books that reveal something about a character that makes me start an imaginary reel, for the character, in my mind. A book that is has a piece of life captured so well…

  7. randi says

    Some of my favorite books are just stories about everyday people but told in a way that pulls you in & you live that story with the characters. Marcia Willett, one of my favorite authors does exactly that!

  8. Ciara B. says

    it has to draw you in and make you feel like you’re in the book. you have to love or hate the characters like you know them.

  9. Hannah C says

    A great novel brings the characters to life. You can picture those characters and relate to them. A great novel is one you cannot put down, you say you’ll stop in a few minutes but you’re still reading two hours later. A great novel is one that makes you think and feel.

  10. LuAnn O'Hair says

    A great novel has characters you feel as if you know by the end of the book, and leaves you trying to turn to the next page on the last page. You want to live in the novel with them, and see where life takes them next.

  11. Jan says

    “Still Alice” by the same author was haunting and lived in my mind long after I closed the book. That meets my definition of a great novel! Dying to read this one too – hope I win!

  12. Cindi says

    I know that I have really enjoyed reading a book, when
    I get to the end, and am sad that I am done with it!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  13. Caryn S says

    A lot of research and realistic characters. Lisa Genova’s previous two books have that for me, and I can’t wait to read this one!

  14. Bonnigene says

    For me a great novel is dynamic. I like a novel that gives the reader some drama, action, adventure and maybe some love. I like novels that touch on many aspects of the characters and shows them as you would any real human being.

  15. brenda Elsner says

    The characters need to seem real. A good, well written book is one that I can’t put down. It is like I am in the story experiencing it with them.

  16. Charlene Kuser says

    I think a great novel tells stories about the life of everyday people and their struggles and heartaches.It also shows compassion and the hope for a brighter
    future even though defeat surrounds them.

  17. heather c says

    There has to be a point to it all, I think. Someone has to learn something important. Someone has to accomplish something big.

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