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A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards
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A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards

by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  350 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Edward is nearly four years old when he begins his slow, painful withdrawal from the world. For those who love him -- his father, Jack; his pregnant mother, Rachel; his younger brother, Matt -- the transformation of this happy, intelligent firstborn into a sleepless, feral stranger is a devastating blow, one that will send shockwaves through every nook and cranny of family...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 4th 2006 by Scribner (first published August 23rd 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 715)
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Jenni
I chose this book because I belived it to be the story of a family and their struggles dealing with an autistic child. I can relate to this topic so I was interested in reading it. It ended up being a lot different then I expected.

First of all, the child is not autistic. This makes a big differance in how the child is treated and the possibilities for his future. For example, since they can't diagnose him, there is a possiblitiy of there being a cure. Secondly, the book is not really about a fa...more
Robin
Highly disappointing, especially considering how wonderfully written Ann Bauer's columns are on Salon.com and which provide much of the drafting of this story. Bauer's use of a literary device of alternating between the narrator's present-day circumstances of a young marriage to an ultimately inappropriate man, coping with a child "somewhere on the scale of autism", and two other, younger, children; and the story of the narrator's uncle who (may) have suffered a similar developmental and emotion...more
Marie
http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/...

I love the title of Bauer's debut novel. It is a term used to describe the protagonist's uncle and the way his older brother would play with him until he died suddenly of scarlet fever.

At the center of this book is Edward, a boy who begins to withdraw at age four. His mom, Rachel, and dad, Jack, try to figure out what is happening to him...it seems like autism, but it isn't...and they resort to extreme lengths to try to help him.

Rachel also discovers that...more
Ellie Contursi
This was one of those books where you think 'what else could happen to this poor family'. A really poignant story of a family's struggles with a child who was never really diagnosed with a syndrome or disease. Edward is a healthy baby and toddler but when he turns 4 he devolops autistic-like symptoms but does not have autism. This is the story of how the parents cope with such a frustrating, odd and curious 'syndrome'. Ann Bauer is an excellent writer. I also loved "The Forever Marriage" her mos...more
Meghan Dymock
By the end of this book I was scanning the pages to just get the gist of it. If I had to hear one more time about how tall Jack is (six six) or how large his hands are I would have screamed. It started out great but by the end I was wondering what the point of the book was....Maybe it was to tell me how tall Jack was? I ended up frustrated with the way the characters seemed to never get anywhere other than where we knew from the beginning: Jack was a drifter hippie who would leave his family. Bl...more
Brian
This book started out out as a possible 5 star, then quickly lost stars as I went through it. The premise is that a child may or may not be autistic. The story is told through the eyes of the mother, but contained flashbacks to a relative who also may have been autistic. I ended up realizing about 100 pages in that I didn't care at all about the flashback character, nor did I end up caring about the main characters as well. I did enjoy this author's writing style however.
Beth Peninger
I got through this book much faster than I anticipated. At times you almost forget it is fiction as Bauer's descriptions of Edward's "disability" and how it affects his family makes it feel like it is a memoir and not a novel.
Rachel and Jack have a beautiful son who one day, very suddenly, becomes a different person. He withdraws, quits speaking, etc. All very symptomatic of autism and yet it isn't. This book is the story of Edward's effect on Rachel and Jack as parents and as spouses. In the m...more
Laurel-Rain
This book is a fictional chronicle of one family's struggle—to discover what is causing son Edward's strange withdrawal that began at the age of four, and what, if anything, can be done to correct/cure his problems.

Throughout the story, narrated in the first person by the mother, Rachel, we peek into their world, from their courtship and unusual beginnings as a couple, followed by their almost perfect life as a young family until one day when their world turned upside down.

We accompany them to d...more
Sue
This was a great book that addresses what it's like to have a disabled child and how frustrating and difficult it can be to find the right treatment and education for him. Doctors are stumped, friends and relatives do not understand and the school system is anything but supportive. Desperate parents will do desperate things and the consequences of Rachel and Jack's choices will change their family forever.

I could empathize with Rachel's deal with God. At one point, a doctor suggests her son mig...more
Diane Ramirez
Sep 10, 2008 Diane Ramirez rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all mothers, single mothers, and anybody with family members that don't quite "fit in"
Recommended to Diane by: Entertainment Weekly
I don't think I've read anything by before (she's written for Salon, I believe Atlantic Monthly, and other publications) but this book really wowed me and made me want to read some more. A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards is apparently a novel version of her personal experiences raising a family of three, including one son with autistic tendencies. It's a beautifully written, poetic, yet oftentimes nightmarish look into ways that families with atypical children have to struggle to remain functioning l...more
Janet
I liked this book a lot. I grew to appreciate the writer's style, that at times seemed like flat reporting to me. But, the character of the narrator in the story is a reporter and from the mid-west; also the story involves autism, so it's really cleverly appropriate. This character describes the puzzle of autism from the perspective of an autistic person's devoted imperfect advocate; someone who can focus on the person within, and interpret the obvious confusion as best they can, which is imperf...more
Fredsky
While reading this book I experienced many emotions, and found myself feeling sad and upset by the end. So I have to conclude that Ann Bauer is a powerful writer who conveys her stories with impact. The subject, autism or something very much like it, is difficult for everyone. Most of us know someone in that world. As devout readers, probably a lot of us spend more time in our own minds than our families would prefer. If we have families.

This novel presents a tug of war between a mother who want...more
Eugenie
Whew! What this Mom and Dad went thru to reach their son who had a condition similiar to autism. It's a really warm story of family life and devotion, without being sappy, it's too realistic for that. Yet, it still manages to make you feel what these people are going through and the ups and downs of ordinary life. There are no heros or villians here, no great struggles between good and evil--unless you count ordinary people fighting for the ones they love in mundane tasks and circumstances. Not...more
Lisa
Excellent family drama.
Pat
Ann Bauer takes her readers into the heart of a marriage and allows them to experience the frustrations and challenges of dealing with a child who is "different." The fact that their son cannot be classified adds to the frustration and also to the hope that his parents have. I am now an Ann Bauer fan because she made me feel what it was like to be Eddie's mother and Jack's wife. She did in this novel what other author hope to do, and she did it was empathy and grace.
Meghan
I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to read this book, but it is extremely well written. I had an erie chilled feeling when I finished it like I had been living an alternate life and was relieved to find myself safely back in myself again- something I consider a testament to the author's skill. Anyone with young kids shoudl expect to fid this book unsettling, but I didn't find it disturbing the way I did _My Sister's Keeper_.
Whitney
Really enjoyed this - a moving book about one family's bout with autism. Autism can take many forms and this book is not solely about the autistic child, but also about the father, who has issues with staying in one place and one job. The only problem I had was with the "backstory" about the uncle, Mickey, whom I could never fully identify with or engross myself in his story. That part I think the author could have done without.
Gregg Martinson
Good start, and moments of real clarity. What happens to family dynamics when a child is diagnosed with autism(or something mysteriously like autism). There are points of pure truth. Unfortunately, the story is of the woman and it looses touch with the narrative of the child as it devolves into a woman's view of divorce and some unmotivated behaviors. Really a good concept, just needed a stronger editor.
Christina
I found this book to be a compelling and poignant story about a family's journey into neurofibromatosis (if I remember or surmised the dx correctly.) It was well written, well paced and I found myself to be quite sympathetic to it. At the time, I certainly could identify with the Mom in the book and her quest to understand her son's difficult behaviour, and therein lay the appeal for me.
Eileen Granfors
This is a book about a little boy who begins showing symptoms of autism at age 4. It's unusual for such a late onset, so I'm interested immediately. And since my grandson has autism, I am trying to learn as much as I can about this mysterious syndrome.

For more about this book, see my review on amazon.com under the title and my reviewer's name, EGranfors.
Suzanne
This book is a treasure of exploding details of domesticated living. Shadowing the early years of a passionate marraige into a morphing synergy,Ann Bauer makes the mundane seem significant and the bizarre seem normal. Additionally, it is a supportive read for parents of challenging children and people living in challenging relationships.
Grace Gardengatelock
Every parent with a kid that seems a little off and goes to denial city needs to read this. Every parent who thinks they can fix things alone, needs to read this... Every marriage that struggles with caring for a child with special needs must pick this up... every mother who feels like they are alone caring for an atypical child... is not alone.
Jackie
An unconventional family watches as their 4 year son descends into autism (or something like it). As they struggle to figure out what his withdrawal is and how to help him it ultimately strains their family and their marriage. A compelling drama that poses questions about how much sacrifice is worth destorying a marriage.
Linda
This was Betty's Book Club choice. I'm sure I would have stopped reading it if not for the upcoming discussion. As it was I had to force myself to continue, hoping it would get better but it never did. At least 25% of the book could have been removed, which is a shame since the subject matter is important.
Terry
I just found this at the library with no recommendations. I was thoroughly engrossed in the book. I thought the author did an excellent job of describing the stresses on the family, a mother, and marriage in raising a child that does not fit into the mold of society. Very readable and not cloying.
Lisa
I loved this book, a complicated love story between a husband and wife, who are together raising a complicated child. I read it while chaperoning Max during a learning stint at the Seattle Opera, and it was perfectly engrossing. I believe it is autobiographical. I hope she writes more!
Jane
Dec 14, 2007 Jane rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents of high functioning autistic children
Shelves: autism
I found this book after reading an article by the author about the struggles her teen aged autistic son had gone through. Having a teen aged autistic son myself, I thought that this book might be of interest. It was a good story ( it is fiction) about a family dealing with autism.
Amy
I loved the start of this book. I think I have read this writer before- essays somewhere. I like her. I think it is honest and written well- it just left me always somewhere. I found my self skipping over the flashback narrative of her family- haunting though.
Dana
Bauer's story of a family coping with their child's descent into autism is honest and affecting without being self-pitying. But as the book progresses, the story grows tiresome, recycling mundane scenes while glossing over more drastic turns in the plot.
Carol Kroll
I liked the book even though it was not what I thought it would be. I thought there would be more of a story of the boy and his unusual behavior. Instead it was more of a family investigation story. It was well written though.
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I’m a writer. It’s all I do—all I’ve ever done—because it’s the only thing I’m good at.

People assume I’m making a joke when I say that. I’m not. I don’t knit, decorate, garden, draw, run marathons or ski. I have no sense of direction. I can’t even hem my own pants; and I’m 5-foot-3, so they always need hemming. I write because it’s how I think.

I have an MFA from the University of Iowa. Not from t...more
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