Love Anthony {Review and Giveaway}

by Trish

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



Email Author    |    Website About Trish

Trish is a mom with Asperger's raising an amazing son with autism. When she's not cheerleading, advocating, or chauffeuring for her son, you can usually find her with her nose in a book! She joined the 5 Minutes for Books review team in late 2011 and blogs about autism, books, and daily life at In So Many Words.

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth - TheAngelForever September 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

A great novels bring you characters that you can relate. Then, within a short time you feel like you are a part of their world.

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2 Kristin Jones September 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm

For me a great novel is centered around characters that a reader wants to get involved with.

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3 Barbara Manatee September 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Good Character development is what really sells me on novels…that along with a topic that interests me!! I teach kids with Autism so I’m definitely interested in this story!

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4 Susan P. September 17, 2012 at 1:03 am

A great novel engages you in the story and the characters. “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova is another great book.

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5 anne September 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

Wonderful and realistic characters and an intriguing storyline with great writing.

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6 Jen September 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

A great novel makes me care about the characters and makes me want to continue reading late into the night well after I should be in bed!

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7 Beth C September 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm

A lot of action, a hint of mystery and romance.

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8 Mozi Esmes Mom September 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Characters that are easy to relate to, even if you live at opposite ends of the globe or are at completely different points of your lifespan…

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9 Atlanta Mom September 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm

a feeling that you are living in that space and time.

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10 Stscie Gorkow September 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I love Genova’s writing and want to read this too.

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11 Stephanie September 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

Sounds like a fascinating story!

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12 Chelsea September 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

believable characters make for a great story! I can’t get into a book if I don’t like or believe the characters

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13 Jennifer September 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I LOVE her work and I would LOVE to win a copy of this new book :)

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14 Emily September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

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.

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15 erics September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I love her books she has written. I first read still Alice in 1 day. I would love to win this book.

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16 Meg September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

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

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17 margie September 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Good Story, believable and authentic characters. Loved Left Neglected and Still Alice cant wait to read Love Anthony

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18 Gerry September 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

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.

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19 Lainy September 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Really enjoyed reading this author, thanks for the giveaway

Lainy http://www.alwayysreading.net

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20 sherry September 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

i have loved lisa genova’s other books and am so excited to read love anthony!

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21 Andrea Williams September 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

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. :-)

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22 Jessica T September 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Characters that I love, and characters I love to hate!

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23 Lynne Johns September 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Have read Lisa Genova’s earlier two books and am eagerly awaiting her new one. Looks like another winner !!

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24 Laura September 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I can’t wait to read it! I love her books.

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25 Nancy September 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I read all of her books! She is VERY GOOD and the stories are amazing.
Makes us think.

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26 Brandi September 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

For me a great novel is so great I want to put real life on hold to completely take in the book.

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27 Daniel M September 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

great story & characters and it ties it up at the end (hate when they leave you hanging)

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28 Angie L September 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm

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!

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29 Jen Pen September 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

A good novel uses real life experiences and research to enhance the fiction.

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30 Pamela Detlor September 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm

A great novel is written with honesty and respect for both the story and the readers.

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31 Melissa Mc September 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

conflict, emotion, redemption…and a hunky guy!!

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32 PinkySwayers September 19, 2012 at 5:25 am

What makes for a great novel is the author’s intelligence, I think. Thanks for the giveaway!

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33 Theresa J September 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

A great novel captures the audience and makes them feel

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34 Jeni Monroe September 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

If I find it really hard to put a book down then I consider it a great read.

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35 nannypanpan September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

good juicy charecters and a great location
nannypanpan@gmail.com

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36 Kimberly B. September 20, 2012 at 6:51 am

When there is drama and suspense.

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37 Joye Barr September 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

How the story makes you feel about yourself

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38 Cindy B September 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I like books that make me care about the characters

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39 Shannon Baas September 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

A book with lots of action,.

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40 Angi Price September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm

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…

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41 randi September 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

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!

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42 andrea September 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

a little suspense with a great ending

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43 Charlotte Padgett September 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

subjects that we should all know about and can imagine ourselves a part of.

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44 Staci A September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

A great novel has characters I can relate to and an intriguing storyline.

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45 Ciara B. September 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

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.

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46 Hannah C September 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

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.

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47 LuAnn O'Hair September 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

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.

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48 samantha September 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

Having great characters, and being a book that you can fall into and the real
world disappears for a while

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49 Jenny September 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Characters and a plot that the reader can relate to.

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50 Jan September 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

“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!

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51 kristen September 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I love a story that does not allow you to leave the characters within the pages, even after you are done with the book.

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52 Laura Garmendia September 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm

On that keeps me turning the pages…..cliffhangers.

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53 Rachel September 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm

A story that is easy to follow the characters & engages me that I won’t want to put the book down!

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54 Candie L September 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Something that catches me in the first few pages. Thank you

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55 Felicia September 24, 2012 at 6:33 am

It has to be the characters.

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56 Shari September 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

For me, a great novel starts and ends with characters who can make me care about them.

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57 Cindi September 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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

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58 Caryn S September 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm

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!

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59 Annette {This Simple Mom} September 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The combination of characters and masterful story-telling!

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60 Crystal Green September 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

This sounds like a good book worth reading.

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61 christal c w September 26, 2012 at 12:55 am

I think having parallels to my own life makes it good

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62 Stephanie Larison September 26, 2012 at 1:47 am

A beautiful love story, people I can relate to

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63 Shaunda e. September 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

Characters that pull you in.

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64 Cindy September 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

A great novel is one that I can’t put down!

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65 shawna September 26, 2012 at 11:31 am

Anything that keeps my attention is a great novel.

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66 Diane Baum September 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

A book that you can’t put down, cause you have to keep reading to see what happens next

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67 Chelsea M September 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm

It has to have a great story that makes it very hard to put down

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68 Valerie Taylor Mabrey September 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm

characters that you love and quirky funny sidekick story.
vmkids3 at msn dot com

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69 Bonnigene September 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm

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.

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70 Ed Nemmers September 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

A unique plot, great characters and exquisite writing!

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71 Holly Mueller September 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Still Alice is one of my favorite all-time books! I would love to win Lisa Genova’s new one!

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72 Tricha September 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

When you can relate to the characters

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73 amy f September 28, 2012 at 2:39 am

would love to read

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74 Ann Council September 28, 2012 at 8:22 am

A great story woven in such a way as to capture your imagination.

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75 brenda Elsner September 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

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.

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76 susan smoaks September 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

a great novel makes me laugh, makes me cry and makes me want to keep reading!

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77 Saver Sara September 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

I captivating story

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78 Kerrie Mayans September 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

A great novel is one that sucks the reader in and keeps the reader interested until the very last page.

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79 cassandra (rab pom) September 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Creating something new that hasnt happened before!

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80 Teresa Thompson September 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

In-depth character build up. I like to be able to relate on a small scale.

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81 K.Pugh September 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Compelling characters pull me in.
Thanks for the chance.

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82 Jane H September 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I love suspense. I want a reason to make sure I have to read the next chapter. Thank you for the chance to win.

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83 Charlene Kuser September 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm

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.

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84 heather c September 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

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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85 Sand September 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Relatable characters and good character development!

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