Seal Press, $25.00, 286 pages
This book is boldly honest, vulnerable, charismatic, heart-wrenchingly sincere and completely without apology. It will make your blood boil, your heart sink and, every once in a while, put many smiles on your face. Local author Kerry Cohen bravely writes about her experiences as a mother of an autistic child – her adorable, lovable, engaging child. Like any mother, Cohen loves her children deeply, fiercely and, like any mother, she worries about them too. Often, her thoughts are broken, intangible and digressive, adding credence and drama to her writing style while opening a window into this mother’s mind.
Cohen writes, “He does a lot of things differently from other kids his age. But there is nothing wrong. I don’t have the right words yet, and even someday when I do, I will still be misunderstood.” Well, she did find the words and put them all in the right order to invoke empathy, camaraderie, sympathy and righteous anger in this anguishing, humorous and loving account of Ezra’s life.
Cohen dexterously weaves the beauty of our Portland neighborhoods, the Columbia Gorge and camping in our magnificent forests into this story, making the whole book the perfect, local, emotional read.
M. Chris Johnson