Daniel Isn't Talking

Daniel Isn't Talking

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.

Marti Leimbach’s first novel, Dying Young, was called “a masterpiece of details that always ring true, with the sad, funny and fascinating unpredictability of real life.” With the same talent and perception, Leimbach’s new novel takes the reader to London, to the home of the Marshes: Stephen Marsh, a true Brit; Melanie, a transplanted American; and their two children, four-year-old Emily and Daniel, just three. When it is conveyed that Daniel is autistic, the orderly life of the Marsh family is shattered.

Melanie is determined to fight to teach Daniel to speak, play and become as “normal” as possible. Her enchanting disposition has already helped her weather other of life’s storms, but Daniel’s autism may just push her over the brink, destroying her resolute optimism and bringing her unsteady marriage to an inglorious end. The situation is not helped by Stephen’s far-from-supportive parents, who proudly display the family tree with Melanie’s name barely penciled in, and who remain disconcertingly attached to Stephen’s ex-fiancée, a woman apparently intent on restaking her claim on Stephen. Melanie does have one strong ally in Andy, a talented and off-the-wall play therapist who specializes in teaching autistic children. Andy proves that Daniel is far more capable than anyone imagined, and Melanie finds herself drawn to him even as she staggers toward resolving her marriage.

Daniel Isn’t Talking is a moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis. What sets it apart from most fiction about difficult subjects is the author’s ability to write about a sad and frightening situation with a seamless blend of warmth, compassion and humor.



Baker & Taylor
A novel exploring the effects of autism on a young family explains a mother's determination to help her autistic child, taking on the experts and her own family to teach her child to become as "normal" as possible.

Blackwell North Amer
Marti Leimbach's new novel takes the reader to London, to the home of the Marshes: Stephen Marsh, a true Brit; Melanie, a transplanted American; and their two children, four-year-old Emily and Daniel, just three. When it is conveyed that Daniel is autistic, the orderly life of the Marsh family is shattered.
Melanie is determined to fight to teach Daniel to speak, play and become as "normal" as possible. Her enchanting disposition has already helped her weather other of life's storms, but Daniel's autism may just push her over the brink, destroying her resolute optimism and bringing her unsteady marriage to an inglorious end. The situation is not helped by Stephen's far-from-supportive parents, who proudly display the family tree with Melanie's name barely penciled in, and who remain disconcertingly attached to Stephen's ex-fiancee, a woman apparently intent on restaking her claim on Stephen. Melanie does have one strong ally in Andy, a talented and off-the-wall play therapist who specializes in teaching autistic children. Andy proves that Daniel is far more capable than anyone imagined, and Melanie finds herself drawn to him even as she staggers toward resolving her marriage.
Daniel Isn't Talking is a story of a family in crisis. What sets it apart from most fiction about difficult subjects is the author's ability to write about a sad and frightening situation with a seamless blend of warmth, compassion and humor.

Baker
& Taylor

Exploring the effects of autism on a young family, a heartwarming novel by the author of Dying Young

Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385517515
0385517513
Branch Call Number: FICTION LEIMBACH
FICTION LEIMBACH
Characteristics: 275 p

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zaire189
Aug 14, 2013

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

v
VRMurphy
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.

v
Vandyoak
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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