Daniel Isn't Talking
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Daniel Isn't Talking

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,118 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Melanie Marsh is an American living in London with her British husband, Stephen, and their two young children. The Marshes’ orderly home life is shattered when their son Daniel is given a devastating diagnosis. Resourceful and determined not to acceptt what others, including her husband, say is inevitable, Melanie finds an ally in the idealistic Andy, whose unorthodox idea...more
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Published May 8th 2007 by Anchor (first published 2006)
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Christine
My fury. Let me show you it.

First, when I read that there was a "devastating" diagnosis, I assumed it was something terminal. ASD is life-altering, not devastating. ASD is not going to kill my child. There are worse things.

Second, when the MMR line came up? Book went flying across the room.

Third, and I am saying this as an ASD mother as well, stop stop STOP with the Jenny McCarthy warrior mother/tiger mother/whatever her line is crap. Parents do what they need to when their child needs help be...more
Victoria
I really enjoyed this book - so much of what Leimbach described about dealing with having a child with a disability made me think while I was reading that she must have dealt with this on a personal level. And since the book cover didn't tell me, it wasn't until I read about it on Amazon that I realized that Daniel was based on her own autistic son. Which certainly explains how she really nailed the emotional frenzy accompanying such a diagnosis. It was a sad book, but really, probably eye-openi...more
Chinook
In "Daniel Isn’t Talking", Marti Leimbach has written a novel about a mother discovering her son has autism and trying to find him treatment. I must say, it got quite an emotional response from me. I was ready to kill the asshole husband and all the doctors who wrote off Daniel as untreatable. I really liked it, though I haven’t got a lot to say about it. What did really resonant with me was the following quote:

“When Stephen left, it was like an emptying out of my life, of all our years together...more
Wahidah
May 04, 2012 Wahidah rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one - unless you're a parent with an autistic child
I didn't quite like this one. I usually savour books about people/kids with disability, poverty or war but this one lacked flavour.

It's simply about this mother with an autistic kid. I feel like her character's too whiny, and autism isn't the worst thing that can happen to your child. She's negative and paranoid - which is quite annoying because she's white, living comfortably in London with food on her table and a roof over her head. In the book however this is addressed - with one of the char...more
Steph
Very enjoyable novel about motherhood and autism. As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I found everything -- from Melanie's fear, guilt, and grief when she faces the diagnosis to the infuriating frustration of dealing with professionals -- believable and easy to relate to.

Memorable quotes:

I've begun to understand that once you are a mother there is just no safe place to cast a vote. Everything you do, the consequences of every action, you will take to the grave. And there is no point i...more
L.
For me, this book simply did not live up to all the hype. Neither in content nor style.

The plot of the novel (and that is what this is a NOVEL, not a memoir) was acceptable. Given the difficulty of taking on a subject such as autism, you have to give the author some credit. But it just didn't shine. It seemed to me that the book focused around the main character's overwhelming sense of loss: of her child, of her husband, and of all sense of normalcy. Which would be fine, but she doesn't make any...more
Megan
I liked this book because it departs from the cliche of most books about children with autism. It still provides many insights about autism and its effect on the family, but rather than centering on the child's condition, the author chose to highlight the bumpy but realistic personal journey of his mother. She starts out rather insecure, and makes a lot of the classic relationship mistakes of the young (including being so blinded by her first real love affair that she fails to recognize her husb...more
Kelly
Don't read this book!!! The author gives a completely stereotyped, unrealistic portrayal of children with autism. Being a speech-language pathologist that works with children with autism, I was offended by the generalized portrayal and lack of research put into this book. I actually wrote to the author because I was enraged by her portrayal of speech therapist in certain chapters.
Kristal Tucker
Apr 02, 2011 Kristal Tucker rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of: autistic fiction, gentle reads, women's lives, family relationships
Shelves: kristal-tucker
Daniel Isn’t Talking, by Marti Leimbach is a first-person narrative of Melanie Marsh’s life. She is American, married to Stephen and living in England. A stay at home mom, Melanie enjoys her days with her children, Emily (four) and Daniel (three), until the day Daniel is diagnosed with autism, explaining his odd behaviors and confirming Melanie’s concerns for her youngest child. Melanie is devastated, but her friend Veena explains that autism is not the end of the world—Daniel is a healthy and h...more
Lindsay
We first meet Melanie, the protagonist and narrator of Daniel Isn't Talking, at a particularly vulnerable point in her life. She's a new arrival in an unfamiliar country, having emigrated from the United States to England to set up house with her new husband in a cottage owned by his family; she's not working, and is dependent on her husband for both financial support and social ties; she doesn't really know her husband all that well, as she seems to have turned to him soon after losing her boyf...more
Jennifer
I don't even remember how this book made it onto my shelf. I picked it up the other day, because I wanted a paperback to carry with me. And strangely, it took me about 50 pages to realize that this wasn't a memoir. Instead, it's a novel about a woman coming to terms with her child's autism (and coming to terms with the fact that not everybody is willing to do what's necessary to support him).

I'm pretty sure that if I were a part of the autism community, this book would have been somewhat infuria...more
Amanda
This book was great. It's about a woman and a marriage and a kid and a family and how they all bounce off of each other and collapse and grow. Daniel has autism. It's hard to understand what is happening with him at first because he is a normally functioning baby. Melanie takes on the challenge and holds on with all the courage she can gather. She goes to the doctors appointments seeks out other people tries to connect in her fragile world. Steven doesn't make it. This is not the kind of child h...more
Diane
I've read several fictionalized accounts of families dealing with an autistic child, and this one sounded so good. However, I was very disappointed. The protaganist just isn't believable and I'm not sure why. Her grief over her son's situation seems one-dimensional. I think if someone wants to read a really good account of coming to grips with being the mother of an austistic child, they should read "A Certain Slant of Light" or "Elijah's Cup of Tea." Both true stories written by the mother, eac...more
Readitnweep
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veronica Zundel
Living with an autistic child, the subject of this novel, was bound to be of interest to me as the mother of a son with Asperger's Syndrome. I found the narrative gripping but the author sometimes made huge plot jumps without filling in how she got from there to here, so it gave something of the impression of a film rather than a novel. Lots of details, like the horror of going to paediatricians and the real community between autism parents, rang very true, though the characters were sometimes l...more
zespri
Great title - and the reason Daniel isn't talking is that he is autistic.

This is a novel about a mum who refuses to give up on her autistic son, and interestingly, the author does actually have an autistic child. I wondered as I read the novel if this was so, as she captures the range of emotions beautifully. From 'knowing' something is not quite right with her boy in the face of her family's dismissal that anything is wrong, through her fight to help him become as fully able to function in the...more
Patti
Mar 22, 2007 Patti rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who know nothing about autism and don't care to learn anything about autism
A fictional tale of a woman coping with her young autistic son. The author creates a fantasy world for her characters and nothing about it seems accurate or true. I wanted to hurl this book across the room at least three times. I hated the protagonist, who seemed snotty, and I didn’t care about anyone else. This book got good reviews, why? I want my money back.
Sue
Another offering in the currently popular story-centered-around-autism genre, this book gets a solid 3.5 stars from me. The story really centers around Daniel's mother as she comes to grips with the reality that something is "not quite right" with her perfect little boy. Though I have not lived this reality, I do see it often in my line of work, and I think the author does a good job of portraying the pain, embarrassment, and overwhelming feelings of powerlessness that so many parents of childre...more
Lisa Hayes
Got to the licking of an eyeball and then a tongue bath. Barfed. Threw book across room. Will not be returning to this one--even though the story has great promise. What kind of editor thinks I need details like that in a story about Autism????????
Supertramp
#68

I love this genre. Books on children and books about children. This is from the pov of Daniel's mother. Daniel the main subject of the entire book, a boy with a autism. How he effects the family in different ways through his autism.

Marti Leimbach has a beautiful writing style. It is funny and heart breaking at the same time. She depicts the situations so beautifully. And has given some unique traits to the characters like accent to mother, serious office tone to the Father, train to Daniel,...more
Cate
Didn't like this one at all. It had a completely unbelievable fairy-tale ending.
Stephanie
No good at all. The mother was infuriating.
Sally906
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tricia Rogers
Within reading 30 pages of this book, I thought the author had read my thoughts on several things. How could she know about these things that I've thought, that I've felt, that I've dealt with ..... an author just can't write about Autism like this unless she knows something about it. So I looked her up on the Internet and found that she has an Autistic child so some of the things in the book are things she has thought, felt and dealt with. I really enjoyed this book. One particular scene made m...more
Shita Hapsari
Buku ini langsung menarik perhatianku karena temanya yang mengenai seorang anak autis, disorder yang juga diderita oleh salah seorang sepupuku.

Ternyata sang penulis adalah juga penulis novel fiksi ‘Dying Young’ yang kemudian diangkat ke layar lebar dengan Julia Roberts sebagai salah seorang pemerannya. Hmm..spesialis penulis tentang kisah pesakit yang bikin trenyuh?

Dan, pasti…kisah dalam novel ini memang mengharukan. Penyakit yang masih sulit ditaklukkan ini dikisahkan menjadi duri dalam hubunga...more
Scrittevolmente
Le indagini e le testimonianze che hanno come tema l’autismo sono sempre un’arma a doppio taglio: l’argomento è ancora nebuloso e in corso di studi, e di conseguenza se viene a mancare una solida base scientifica è facile arrivare a tentativi e congetture che scantonano nella superstizione.
È questa l’impressione che ho avuto leggendo questo libro.
Il punto di vista è quello, in prima persona, di una madre disperata che dopo la diagnosi di autismo al secondogenito si vede abbandonata dal marito e...more
Lain
There is much to love and admire about this book: the author's heart-wrenching take on mothering an autistic child, vivid characters, smooth writing... but there is also much to take issue with.

I am not the mother of an autistic child, so the criticisms I have will likely seem minor to a woman who is crying tears of relief that she is reading about her life in a book. So, that said...

In marked contrast to her ability to portray Daniel and the agony his mother is going through with such poignan...more
Irishcoda
I am not surprised to read that Marti Leimbach has an autistic son. Anyone who could write characters as well as she either must have a lot of personal experience or is a genius. I liked the book a lot and it's a good one to read to learn about the impact autism has on family members, particularly the mother.

Melanie Marsh is an American married to a veddy proper Englishman named Stephen. His family is la-dee-dah and since Melanie is so much an individual, the first thing I wondered is how she an...more
Jasmine
I am unsure if this novel is a true story, however the way it was written I wouldn't be surprised.

Daniel is our main character, a small boy. He has a mother, a father and a sister. It is a happy family, until Daniel is diagnosed with autism and the happy family starts to unravel at the seams.

Mum visits every possible doctor and specialist, hoping for a glimmer of hope amongst a sea of people who tell her that not much can be done for little Daniel.

Dad runs back to an ex girlfriend and leaves the...more
Becky Seabaugh
I felt so many connections to the mother in this story. The little boy, Daniel, has some very amazing similarities to Isaiah - chewing on his shirt, a love for Thomas the Train.

I just finished the book, and I don't really know what else to say, other than I hope this book can help people to understand the lengths a mother of an Autistic child NEEDS to go to. Some may think this mother's actions are irrational or crazy, but mothers of Autistic children must go to great lengths for their child to...more
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