Book: A Bouquet for Adam
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: June 17, 2016
Length: 194 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Adam Stephens’s simple life working in Denver as a computer programmer is turned upside down when his mother suddenly dies. His crazy relatives in Virginia want him to move in with them because they believe his autism makes it impossible for him to care for himself. But life improves, at least for a time. One day while wandering through the botanical gardens, he runs into struggling wildlife photographer Trent Osborn.
As a hesitant love blossoms between the two, Adam’s aunt and uncle push for him to live with them. Adam again refuses. The struggles between his desires and what everyone else wants collide. Adam disappears, and Trent is unsure if he’s run off to escape life’s pressures made worse by his autism, or if something far more sinister has happened. Trent embarks on a cross-country journey in search of Adam. What he discovers changes the course of his and Adam’s lives and the lives of everyone connected to them.
It’s vital I mention that the main reason I scooped up this book to read is because I am the mother of an autistic child. Autism is front and center in my life so when I see books with autistic characters I grab them. Not to criticize but to support, to continue to gain knowledge and so on. The saying I always tell people is, when you’ve met one autistic person you’ve met one autistic person. So A Bouquet for Adam got my attention. I will admit I read it with the knowledge I’ve gathered through the 13 years I’ve had my son and worked with children on the spectrum. Keep that in mind when I review.
A Bouquet for Adam was filled with emotions and slight over the top drama. Adam is no doubt autistic. Where he falls on the spectrum is unclear. He’s more toward the high functioning side. He has quirks that we often see and his coping mechanisms for stress are familiar. He bites his fingers to the point of bleeding. I’ve seen hair pulling, slapping, biting, you name it it’s there. It has something to do with the pressure more than the pain. The pressure/pain, as it’s been explained to me, centers them. So, I sympathized with Adam. When Adam experiences a loss that he can’t cope with he really falls apart.
Trent, a photographer, enters the picture and really becomes vital for Adam. He is “his person” Yes his person. Someone who he gravitates toward in good times and bad and he deeply relies on him for all his feelings and emotions.
Trent, however, is dealing with a loss of his own and a horrible homophobic Uncle. It’s the Uncle who brings in the over the top drama. He’s a bible thumping lunatic that resorts to criminal behavior. I won’t tell you what because I don’t want to spoil it but it’s insane and it affects Adam.
I felt the story was perfect up until the thrust of drama. It was just too much. There was a tremendous tale going on with understanding, grieving, love, and obstacles all their own before Trent’s uncle takes it too far.
I enjoyed this story for the most part and though it was a lot to take in at times it was a good read.
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