Book Review: Shtum – Jem Lester ****

Hmm. Where to begin? Ben and Emma Jewell are at the end of their tether. Struggling to cope with their severely autistic son Jonah they are getting little help or support. Jonah is ten and often incontinent, violent and largely uncommunicative. The Jewell’s decide to fake a separation in order to give Jonah more chance of help and assistance.

Ben and Jonah move in with Ben’s father, Georg. Three generations of men who can’t or won’t communicate with each other. Emma then promptly disappears and Ben finds himself struggling as a single father resorting to alcohol to keep him going. The relationship that develops between Jonah and his grandfather is very delicately developed and so believable.

It is an interesting book on a subject that I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to read about. Well worth a punt if you fancy something a bit different.

Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publishing Date: 07 Apr 2016. 320 pages.



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