A powerful and realistic look at a mothers love for her autistic son!
Picking Up The Pieces by Jo Worgan
Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.
But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.
Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….
As a parent to an autistic child myself, this book really hit home with me. I completely and utterly related to Kate in every way. The author, who has an autistic child herself, did such a fantastic job at detailing Sam’s behaviours and Kate’s feelings towards them — they were the most accurate (for me) that I’ve seen in a book where an autistic child is portrayed. The way Sam acted was spot on and it felt like I was reading about my life with my own son.
Whilst autism plays a big role in the story it also explores other tough subjects such as domestic abuse! I’d like to say it’s a mix of genres….we had romance which was lovely to see develop and wasn’t forced or rushed. Then we have this tense thriller part which involved Kate’s ex boyfriend which had my stomach in knots on numerous occasions. The parts towards the end really made my blood boil, I hated the ex boyfriend that much.
Both Kate and Matt’s stories are quite similar and both explore the theme of learning to move on and escape your past. It really was so well articulated and I couldn’t help but feel protective over these characters – it felt like they were friends of mine and I didn’t want them making the wrong decisions.
Overall this was such an incredible book which portrayed autism beautifully and handled some sensitive subjects really well. I loved Kate, Matt but most of all I loved Sam – a wonderful book that everyone should read!