Today, I am on the blog tour for Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan, bringing you a book review. The book comes out on the 8th of November in both Kindle and Paperback editions, and will be available on Kindle Unlimited. Below, you can find the tour poster if you want to find out more and visit the other fantastic stops on this tour!
Where do I start with this book that tugged at my heart? Oh, that rhymed! Picking up the Pieces is an unforgettable read about Kate, her autistic son Sam and the new guy next door, Matt. Kate moved to Muddletown, years ago, to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend, Matt just moved in next door, to escape his now-ex wife, to be greeted with a young boy on a sun lounger in his new garden. This boy is Sam and he has autism.
Now, the author herself actually has a child with Autism and is well qualified to talk on the topic; in fact, she has the full support of the National Autistic Society. I thought this was fantastic. I’m not a parent, and so my knowledge of Autism is limited, but I felt when I was reading Sam’s character, that it was an accurate portrayal of a child with Autism (of course, experiences can vary and not all children are the same, autistic or not), based on my limited knowledge – this was before I knew about the authors experience – I tend to try to wait until I’ve started a book before I read about the author and such, because not everyone who reads a book looks the author up and I feel like it can provide an insight to a book that fellow readers may not end up with, and I didn’t want to taint my experience with extra knowledge – if that makes sense.
Sam is a lovely little boy and I found him charming and sweet. He had some meltdowns, sure, but he felt very real. I thought Kate was strong as heck, but I felt so bad for her and her struggle to seek help – she thought she would worry people and be a burden and that made me so sad. Even out of the abusive situation, that damage remained. Matt is the knight in shining armor, destined to bring that family a happy ending, but not without his own baggage and emotional burden. I found the characters very well written and very human. I was rooting for the main protagonists throughout!
Matt was kind and patient when encountering Sam. When they first met, I held my breath for Matt’s reaction. Then I laughed because I feel like that’s how I would have reacted too. It may have happened off the page, so to speak, but I don’t recall Kate strictly telling Matt that Sam had autism. It seemed more that he basically figured it out based on the signs in the home and his own general knowledge. His compassion was lovely to read and warmed my heart, but then Kate’s ex, Jake made an appearance which brought a big dark cloud ready to rain on my fuzzy feels parade.
I was worried for Kate and worried for Sam. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out how this would pan out for them, then Jake even got Matt involved. Determined to swan in and control Kate’s life entirely – or so it appears, under the guise of wanting to know his son.
I was aghast at how things went down later on in the book. I was shocked even though I thought I shouldn’t really be surprised, but I also realised that this, too, was probably pretty realistic and it really tugged at my heart and made me feel so sad for Sam and other autistic children in the world and their families who have had to endure that situation or similar, and they’re undoubtedly out there. It’s “just a book” but it really rang true in a lot of aspects and that really got me. It wasn’t pleasant but it was real and while we can stop reading a book, we can’t close our eyes and prevent things from happening in real life.
It’s food for thought and a reminder that there’s so much we don’t see or know and that we should always try to be compassionate, patient and understanding with others. This book is an excellent, un-put-downable read about a woman, her little boy and the new guy next door that will tug at your heart and make you feel things.
A compelling and emotive story about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.
Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.
But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.
Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….
Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.
Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Writing is what she truly loves, and Picking up the Pieces is her second novel following her first, An Unextraordinary Life.
Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young
sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds.