Shtum – Read of the month on autism

Shtum – Read of the month on autism

A book by first time novelist Jem Lester has become the read of the month at NobleCare.

 This darker sadder version of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is beautifully written and fiercely funny. The book tells the story of Jonah who is profoundly autistic, his father Ben and grandfather Georg. It focuses on Jonah’s parents struggle to get him into a suitable school. But it is  about so much more than that. Ben and Emma are at breaking point with Jonah – as the story goes on, we realise more and more how this is true. Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s father, hoping it will gain them more sympathy with the authorities, although Ben’s relationship with his father is a little uneasy. As the assessments are made and the tribunal looms, we see the relationships between Ben, Jonah and Georg develop and bloom, as Georg and Ben both discover that Jonah, although non-speaking, makes a very good listener. Ben learns a lot about his father and his family history, and gains a deeper understanding of himself. The story is never dry or boring, and moves easily between pathos and humour.


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