The Boy in the Moon
A Father's Journey to Understand His Extraordinary SonBook - 2011
A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2011
"[A]n intimate glimpse into the life of a family that cares around the clock for a disabled child, that gets so close to the love and despair, and the complex questions the life of such a child raises...It is a beautiful book, heartfelt and profound, warm and wise."
--Jane Bernstein, author of Loving Rachel and Rachel in the World
Ian Brown's son Walker is one of only about 300 people worldwide diagnosed with cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome--an extremely rare genetic mutation that results in unusual facial appearance, the inability to speak, and a compulsion to hit himself constantly. At age thirteen, he is mentally and developmentally between one and three years old and will need constant care for the rest of his life.
Brown travels the globe, meeting with genetic scientists and neurologists as well as parents, to solve the questions Walker's doctors can't answer. In his journey, he offers an insightful critique of society's assumptions about the disabled, and he discovers a connected community of families living with this illness. As Brown gradually lets go of his self-blame and hope for a cure, he learns to accept the Walker he loves, just as he is.
Honest, intelligent, and deeply moving, The Boy in the Moon explores the value of a single human life.
From the critics
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Canadian journalist Brown writes of his gnawing search to understand the ineffable, unknowable meaning of his genetically impaired young son’s life. More than a family memoir, more than the story of his son Walker’s enigmatic, wordless world, this is a cri de coeur that voices every parent’s grief at the inevitable thwarting of the dreams and expectations they hold for their children. Brown’s fearless, unsentimental prose exposes the myth of easy answers that genetic testing seems to promise, and demands scrutiny of commonly held definitions about what constitutes a life worth living.
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