Did you like my last review of When You Were Mine? I have another mother/son relationship book that you are going to love.
An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate anyone.
But Julia’s eleven-year-old son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone. And bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy.
Then, one Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
There was a part of me that was disappointed that An Unusual Boy was not darker (whatever that says about me). I thought it would be along the lines of Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin but it actually turned out to be a wonderfully heartwarming book.
I just wanted to hug Jackson and, considering the reader finds out early on the reality of the incident, I didn’t feel guilty about it. I also wanted to give Julia a big squeeze and help her through everything. See, while An Unusual Boy has a really interesting storyline, it is what the story represented that I enjoyed the most.
For one, this book teaches us that there is no such thing as normal. The author is also very sensitive about not putting labels on people. Saying that, she is not unrealistic about it either. We clearly see the effort of Jackson’s family to accept him simply for who he is, yet at times they, and external people, struggle and aren’t so understanding of his personality.
I loved the alternating chapters between Julia and Jackson. The author does a great job of helping us understand what it’s like to be Jackson’s mother, and also what it’s like to be Jackson as he tries to fit in in a world full of rules he doesn’t understand.
While it may have not been what I was expecting, I truly enjoyed An Unusual Boy. If you think you would also enjoy it, you can pick up a copy of the book here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.