The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy
Priscilla Gilman had the greatest expectations for the birth of her first child. Growing up in New York City amongst writers, artists, and actors, Gilman experienced childhood as a whirlwind of imagination, creativity, and spontaneity. As a Wordsworth scholar, she celebrated and embraced the poet's romantic view of children—and eagerly anticipated her son's birth, certain...more
The constant interweaving of Wordsworth poems, and the author's analysis of them, were just a little obsessive to me; half th ...more
Gilman's son has a developmental disorder I'd not heard of yet her struggles resonated with my own. The difference between us (apart from the diagnosis) was her incredible articulation of her feelings, ideas, thoughts, and lack ...more
This was a First Reads giveaway I was lucky enough to win and I was excited to dive when it came in the mail a few weeks later.
While I understand that the opening of the book is meant to set up the romantic nature and charmed life of the author, it didn't sit quite right with me. It's not a life most readers are going to be able to identify with - the pre-war upper westside childhood apartment, the weekend home in Connecticut, trips to Spain - and immediately imposes a di ...more
Life does not always follow our fantasies but properly apperceived remains open to joy, mystery, and discovery.
This story saddened me, because it seems to me, her husband (now, ex) went through PTSD and numbed upon learning about their son's diagnosis, while the author, of course, reacted to her PTSD with a hyper-vigilance. Their marriage did not survive, and that, to me, is the greatest tragedy of this story ...more
Yet I do have some concerns.
First and foremost, I think much too much is expected of the young Benj. Sure, he does have Asperger-y behavior and physical problems, yet the mother seems to expect things of him that are challenging for ordinary kids. For example, at his 4th birthday party, "he didn't take the gifts ...more
I am greatly humbled by this book -- but also inspired and filled with hope. This book exposes raw nerves as we read about the real life of Dr. Priscilla A. Gilman and her son, Benjamin. The occasional poetry interspersed throughout the book beautifully dramatizes and illustrates the story. The book is about a parent’s worst fears – that their child may be born less than physically and mentally perfect by soc ...more
Priscilla Gilman wrote The Anti-Romatic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy with a thousand sentences just like these two. Because of the personal level of her writing, her emotions flourish throughout the whole book. She delights the reader’s eyes with beautiful sentences decorated with quotes from her favorite poet, Willia ...more
I remember being pregnant with Bria, my first child, and having all kinds of notions about how it was going to be to have my own baby. I wondered what she would be like: I hoped she would have my love of reading and learning and her father's musical abilities. I wanted her to be brilliant, of course, and kind and sweet and wonderful and perfect.
Of course she is all of those things--just not quite how I had imagined it. She loves to read and learn all right, but it surprises m ...more
From that last sentence above it is too easy to think that this is a book just for the parents of children with special needs. Of course, it shares a perspective that they should find helpful. It certainly reached out to me, as I have a son who ...more
Priscilla Gilman, a Wordsworth scholar and a young mother, is just starting her career as an En ...more
What I can say is the Gilman writes beautifully, she presents relationships, familial and romantically, with clarity while retaining the complexity of those relationships and of the individuals involved. She is never dismissive nor does she take the route of easy judgments.
I was fascinated by her childhood (I too grew up on Manhattan's Upp ...more
The story deals with Priscilla Gilman's life with her son, Benjamin, who over the course of the book is diagnosed with hyperlexia. Ms. Gilman also describes her early life before her son's birth; she recounts her perso ...more
Beautifully writes about raising a child that has special needs and so wonderfully explains the need to let go of the dream of your child and love the child you have.
Very painfully honest and real, she doesn't hide from her emotions and doesn't put blame on anyone
Her relationship with her ex-husband is one that I truly believe benefits her children -- now if more divorces couples would follow her path
She's a strong women who wouldn't take no for an answer and wants the best for he ...more