My month of blog tours continues with A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart*, a novel about a father who finds a way to connect with his autistic son through Minecraft.
As with Relativity earlier this week, A Boy Made of Blocks has taught me a lot about something I hadn’t given much thought to before. And it’s about a socially isolated young boy so, of course, it made me cry.
Told from the point of view of thirty-something dad, Alex, this is a story about a man struggling to build a relationship with his autistic son and re-build his relationship with his wife, whilst also dealing with redundancy and finally coming to terms with a family tragedy which occurred twenty years ago.
OK, so that probably didn’t sell it very well but trust me, it’s a powerful, heart-warming, entertaining read. They say write what you know and Keith Stuart knows his stuff, having raised an autistic son himself. And it shows. Each moment of frustration and pride packs a serious emotional punch and you’re right there with him, whether it’s fighting for a better education, having a ‘normal’ conversation or a spontaneous moment of affection.
Jenson isn’t even two yet and I can’t stand to think of a situation where he feels hurt, left out or misunderstood. As a parent it’s your job to make sure your child feels happy and safe but what happens when you can’t do that? Here is the point of view of a parent who is just trying to make it through the day without a meltdown – for him and his child! It can be hard-going but also incredibly moving.
A Boy Made of Blocks is a perfect mix of Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project/Effect and David Nicholls’ Us with a splash of Simon Pegg’s Nerd Do Well. Well worth a read; I’d recommend it to anyone.
* I received this item for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.