28/05/2007

You, Me and Him (by Alice Peterson)

"You, Me and Him" is a modern character-driven novel about relationships by Alice Peterson.

Josie and Finn's marriage has been going through a stressful time, although they very much love each other. It doesn't help that their six-year-old son George has ADHD and is extremely difficult at times. They love him dearly, but their lives (particularly Josie's) have been disrupted since his birth, and although Finn wants another baby, Josie isn't sure at all. Then she discovers that she's pregnant, and panic sets in.

Finn is a successful doctor, and also a great father who understands his son well - except that he's often too busy to spend time with him. Then Josie becomes resentful and Finn becomes defensive. There's another man in the picture, too. Clarky, Josie's childhood friend, lives nearby and is George's godfather. Finn and Clarky don't much like each other .

It's not often that I fall in love with a book within the first few pages, but it happened to me with this one. The story is told in the first person by Josie, and I found myself relating to her strongly, right from the start. I did wonder if there was going to be an 'agenda' to the book, pushing acceptance of ADHD, with lots of detail about possible causes and treatments. Clearly the author knows a great deal about this condition, but I thought she managed to avoid pushiness. George is a likeable, intelligent lad who knows that his brain doesn't work like other children's.

All in all, much better than the average light chick-lit; instead it was quite thought-provoking, often moving, and very satisfying to read. I began it on Saturday morning and could barely put it down once I'd started.

Highly recommended.

(I wrote a longer review which is here at The Bookbag site)

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