What a wealth of emotions I experienced whilst reading this heart-warming book. I always find that books told from different perspectives get right under my skin. Seeing a story unfold from both sides gives the reader an insight that we wish we could have in real life. Alas, you can never know what somebody is thinking but in the world of books and fiction, we become marvellous magical mind-readers!
K.L. Loveley has written an emotional, frank and thoughtful book on a family dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome. Now this story starts during the miner’s strike of 1984 with Paul and Grace welcoming their longed-for first child into the world, in a time where kids weren’t diagnosed with ADHD or autism, they were just thought of as weird or naughty. Baby Alfie is not like other children, he doesn’t so much play with toys or books as rearranges them: in straight lines, size order or colour coded. His mother, Grace, loves him unconditionally but his father, Paul, thinks his brain isn’t wired right. As far as I was concerned, Alfie is bright and smart and so what if he is a little different.
I knew I would love Alfie from the minute he describes his birth. He is like a little sponge, absorbing information and becoming smarter every day whilst seeing things that his young mind cannot fully understand but he knows is wrong. He doesn’t make friends easily but those who are lucky enough to befriend Alfie have someone on their side who would lay down their life for them. He may not have fully developed social skills but he sure does go the extra mile for people he loves.
Grace’s chapters are told via her diary and I loved this. Rather than just telling the story from Grace’s point of view, we are allowed a peep into her diary where she records her innermost thoughts and feelings. Her love for Alfie shines through every page and you might be thinking that she sounds like an overprotective mother but she allows Alfie to make mistakes and learn from them, but Grace is always there to pick up the pieces and set him back on the right track (as long as it is straight).
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Alfie grow up before my eyes. He’s not perfect as he’s an easy target for those scumbags who prey on the weak and vulnerable, but I like to think that, with his friends and family on his side, he becomes a stronger person because of his mistakes.
Open your heart to Alfie and pick up a copy of Love, Secrets and Absolution today! It’s something a little different from most family dramas as Alfie’s condition isn’t diagnosed until his late teens. So until then, his family and friends don’t know what they’re dealing with – he’s just ‘not right’, but who decides what is ‘right’ and what isn’t? Perhaps people should look in the mirror before labelling something as flawed or ‘not right’. The world would be a boring place if we were all perfect.