cover image Love Anthony

Love Anthony

Lisa Genova. S&S/Gallery, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4391-6468-6

Genova's newest (after Left Neglected) tells the tales of two women struggling with a timely topic, but the device she uses to connect their stories%E2%80%94a bland bit of mysticism%E2%80%94obfuscates otherwise compelling narratives. Olivia's life is in shambles%E2%80%94she spent years coming to terms with her son, Anthony, being diagnosed with autism, only to lose him to a subdural hematoma at age 8. Now her husband's filing for divorce. Meanwhile, Beth is reeling from the discovery that her husband has been cheating on her for months. In an effort to cope, she returns to her former passion%E2%80%94writing%E2%80%94and begins a new book inspired by a dream. That story magically turns out to be Anthony's story, as told by him. Eventually, the women come together, and Olivia reads Beth's story and begins to heal. Though each story is engaging in its own right, the plot device that connects Beth and Olivia makes the book read like self-help. (Sept.)