Love Anthony by Lisa Genova: A Review and A Reading Challenge Update


We have pills for headaches. We have antidepressants for sadness. We have God for believers.We have nothing for autism. – Lisa GenovaLove Anthony

I know I am in love with a story if:

  • It affected me personally.
  • It left me haunted.
  • It gave me book hangover I can’t brush off and
  • I want to know the end, but I don’t want it to end.

I felt these all  with Love Anthony by Lisa Genova.

17th – A book that takes place during summer – Love Anthony by Lisa Genova.

And today I will tell you why.

What is it about: Two women, each cast adrift by unforeseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.

Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.

Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channelling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

What I Love: Everything.

The two-perspective story telling.

The stark contrast of Olivia and Beth’s life and how their stories overlapped.

The journal and the novel within the novel itself.

The build of tension towards the heartbreaking yet peaceful ending and the jaw-dropping ‘bombs’ in between.

The vivid description of the beautiful island of Nantucket, especially the jubilant daffodils.

Lisa Genova’s words will clench and break heart your heart, it will make you think, it will linger.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“Time’s a funny thing, bending, warping, stretching, and compressing, all depending on perspective.”

“We have pills for headaches. We have antidepressants for sadness. We have God for believers.We have nothing for autism.”

“Love is felt beyond words and touch.”

“Marriage isn’t only about whether you love each other. You have to have mutual power, mutual trust.”

“Endings are difficult. Wrapping everything up in a tight, elegant bow. Leaving the reader with a satisfying The End. Saying good-bye.”

“…sometimes we need reassurance, to hear the words. A two-way conversation.”

“Most people love with a guarded heart, only if certain things happen or don’t happen, only to a point. If the person we love hurts us, betrays us, abandons us, disappoints us, if the person becomes hard to love, we often stop loving. We protect our delicate hearts. We close off, retreat, withhold, disconnect, and withdraw. We might even hate.Most people love conditionally. Most people are never asked to love with a whole and open heart. They only love partway. They get by.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads

Have you read this book?

Have you read other Lisa Genova novels?

What are your thoughts?

Let’s talk! 🙂


20 thoughts on “Love Anthony by Lisa Genova: A Review and A Reading Challenge Update”

  1. I’d love to read this! I’ve read two other books by this author (Left Neglected and Inside the O’Briens), and I love how she makes a medical situation fascinating and still keeps the personal so important. This sounds terrific, and I’ll definitely check it out.


    1. Wow! Those are the two Lisa Genova books I have yet to read. 🙂 And I am now excited because of what you just said. 🙂
      i read Still Alice, too. It is another great read!


  2. I had not heard of this novel. Thank goodness, I’ve heard about it now. The title is a marvel in itself. Is it the end of a message from Anthony? Is it a directive to love Anthony? Or is it telling that love and Anthony are the same?

    I really like your criteria for reading. I enjoy your using the world “haunted,” especially.

    An inspiring review in many ways, Rosema!

    Liked by 1 person

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