Excellent Work Partially Marred By Problematic Ideas About Autism. This book, as so many of its type, starts relatively slow and low key – a woman goes to dinner with her husband and a friend, and the friend announces he is bringing someone along out of the blue. It begins to spiral from there, and we get into a mystery with the requisite twists and turns, some of which were noted long before their respective reveals, others of which were more shocking. Random and sporadic chapters taking us to other perspectives other than the primary narrator, to give the backstories of those characters – and at least two major reveals that our primary narrator will only learn about much later. Truly excellent work on that side of the story.
It is within the subplot of the primary character’s actual work that things get more problematic, as this researcher is trying to diagnose Autism in babies. As an Autistic adult that only learned that label in my teens – and didn’t fully learn just how much it affects my life until my 20s – I can tell you without hesitation that by and large (there are always exceptions to any rule), a label of Autism tends to be more problematic than helpful at such early ages. (Later in life it becomes less problematic and generally easier to use as a means of communication – a bit ironic, really – to help explain to others about your own neurological divergences in ways they can more easily understand at least some modicum of.) But this review isn’t exactly the place to really dive into that particular rabbit hole, so with it simply noted I’ll move on.
On the whole, a very well written and executed story, and much recommended.