Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner

Alicia Richards is funny, sassy, intelligent and the solo parent of a 25 year old Down Syndrome daughter who attends a Daycare Centre for Special Needs Adults, life with all it's stress and strains hums along quite nicely for Alicia and Chloe until unexpected love enters the picture...
Thomas, who is mentally challenged and Chloe fall in love and lust taking Alicia on an unimaginable journey, one laced with pitfalls and misgivings but trying to dispel those misgivings and be open minded and accepting, Alicia finds herself dragged down a path she would never have chosen for her daughter...but is it her choice or Chloe's that should prevail?
With a cast of vividly drawn characters, each with a back story that influences their views and opinions, this book takes us into the heart of a family dynamic that none of us would likely choose, there is nothing stereotypical about the characters and the story is told with unflinching realism, with love but with a searing honesty.There is no mush but plenty of kissing, lots of humour and twists and turns that pepper the journey and take you into the reality of living with challenge every single day, where the smallest thing can escalate like nothing and the biggest things evaporate like milk.
This was a very readable book, the narrative flowed and I found myself so invested in the characters, even those I didn't like that I couldn't put it down.
One of the things I felt especially strongly about was how just as Alicia's beliefs, perceptions and realities were tested, so were mine as the reader, not a bad experience at all and a real strength of the author, that she could pull cynical me in and keep me thinking.
I also liked how the author finished the story, to me it was the right thing to do, you may feel the complete opposite.
A thought provoking little book, the title sums up Alicia's most heartfelt wish for Chloe, a wish that was achieved but with quite a price paid.
Available by special order and via the Library System.

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