Daniel Isn't Talking

Daniel Isn't Talking

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
A fearless, unsentimental novel about a mother’s devotion to her autistic child, by the bestselling author of Dying Young. Simultaneous international publication.

Smart, resilient, engaged with the world, Melanie Marsh has already weathered the suicide of her father, the death of her mother, and the loss of her lover, but she has not lost the thrill of adventure or her wry sense of humour. When she comes to England to study, Melanie meets Stephen, a financial analyst, and is drawn immediately to his strong presence. Marriage and family quickly follow, as well as a certain happiness, until Melanie’s worst suspicions are confirmed about their three-year-old son, Daniel. Daniel has autism and the prognosis is grim. Frustrated by the limits of the medical system, Melanie takes Daniel’s care into her own hands and devotes all she has to working with him. Her marriage soon begins to falter and Stephen eventually turns to a former lover. It is at about this time that she seeks out Andy O’Connor, an alternative therapist whose controversial approach to autism she’s heard something about. It is Andy’s creativity, his patience and caring, that enable her son’s progress, and for the first time, hope, in many forms, takes root.

Passionate, moving, heartbreakingly real, Marti Leimbach’s new novel reveals a mother’s desperation and the capacities of love, demonstrating once again Leimbach’s gift for storytelling and for portraying characters we come to care deeply about.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland &Stewart, c2006
ISBN: 9780771052026
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 22 cm


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Aug 14, 2013

Inspirational and beautiful! This novel shows what unconditional love truly means.

Feb 22, 2012

The writing is competent and the relationships ring true, except for one character who seems a bit too good to be true. The real value of this novel is to explain the emotional wallop a special-needs diagnosis for a child has on his/her parents. Ms. Leimbach has done a stunning job of conveying the emotional impact of discovering you have an autistic child, the subsequent feelings of isolation, and the parents' need to educate themselves in order to advocate for their child. I look forward to future novels from this author.

Oct 29, 2011

Leimbach is a gifted writer and the first chapters of Daniel Isn't Talking are excellent. She really captures the mother's despair and resulting depression.

Unfortunately as the book progresses, all of the characters prove to be stereotypical: the ultra-reserved British family, the husband in deep denial, the cold doctors who say the child will never progress.

Daniel Isn't Talking is well-meaning, but extremely unrealistic.

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