TSWS: Shtum by Jem Lester

Article published on April 16, 2016.

After having read and loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I was intrigued to read this. The most important theme of this book is difference. I love the fact the Jem Lester has not been afraid to challenge difficult themes especially one as complex as autism. There isn’t much fiction out there that talks about this subject so I was pleased to see this one.

The characters aren’t particularly likeable at the beginning, with Ben & Emma struggling to deal with their son Jonah’s specific needs. Ben, was a character that went through so many changes and grew on me towards the end of the novel.

I loved the character of Georg and thought he really made the story what it was. His determination and positivity shone through and showed Ben how to be a father. I also loved the handwritten pages at the end of the chapters, I thought this was a really clever way to add in personal touches like the formal letters.

The character of Jonah was written fantastically well, and I thought it was just the right amount of description and action to describe his personality and behaviour. Overall, I definitely think this book is one to watch for in 2016 – emotional, upsetting but also uplifting, showing all the different types of love and how important family is.

Lauren McVeigh

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