BOOK CLUB: An Unusual Boy

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Boldwood Books for the opportunity to read An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins. My advice to you when you start reading this book is to make sure you have set aside the whole day…as you will not want to put this book down!

The Curtis family consists of Mum Julia, Dad Andy, Milla 14, Jackson 11 and Ruby 9.

Jackson is their “unusual” boy.

The story is told with Julia and Jackson narrating alternate chapters. It is brilliantly done, as we know the truth about what has happened, but live through Julia’s confusion, disbelief and panic.

Jackson has spent 8 of his 11 years visiting medical specialists in search of a diagnosis. The current term used is “Neurodiversity” a word used to describe children who don’t conform to a conventional diagnostic category. We see and live through Jackson’s eyes and thoughts just how confusing the world is to him. How hard he tries to follow the 5 family rules.

Julia is a loving mother balancing her family, her job, and marriage. Andy is often absent, his job takes him overseas. Milla has her first boyfriend and Ruby is fashion conscious. Julia’s parents have recently passed away, she feels very alone. She does everything she can do to support Jackson with his unusual and sometimes challenging behaviours. As his specialist has said to her….she needs to focus on the one thing she can control and that is her response to Jackson’s behaviours.

Life is tough for every member of this family and it is about to get a whole lot tougher! The worst thing imaginable happens. There is an incident at school, and the police are called. Jackson is implicated and he is not allowed to return to school. 

You will laugh, cry, get angry and want to reach into the book to give Julia and Jackson supporting hugs. There are wonderful characters that surround them. Milla, her boyfriend and Ruby, and Miss Marion the dance teacher are fantastic.  

The quote of the book goes to Pamela, her mother in law,

 “Normal doesn’t exist, Its just a cycle on the washing machine!”

Then there are characters who take advantage of Jackson, and some, who consider their jobs, should have taken the time to understand him. It is a riveting and poignant story of this relatable and likable families search for the truth.

It is a thought-provoking book, which has extended my understanding and empathy to all the families with their own “unusual” child who sits somewhere on the autism spectrum.

A brilliant read. 5 out of 5 stars, actually I would like to give it 6!! Now that I have discovered Fiona Higgins, I am on a mission to read all of her books!

ISBN: 9781800485426

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins. You can read their reviews below, or add your own.

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