In this multi-award-winning autobiographical novel, Cristovão Tezza draws readers into the mind of a young father whose son, Felipe, is born with Down syndrome. From the initial shock of diagnosis, and through his growing understanding of the world of hospitals and therapies, Tezza threads the story of his son's life with his own. Felipe, who lives in an eternal present, becomes a remarkable young man; for Tezza, however, the story is a settling of accounts with himself and his own limitations and ultimately a coming to terms with the sublime ironies and arbitrariness of life. He struggles with the phantom of shame, as if his son's condition were an indication of his own worth, and yearns for a "normal" world that is always out of reach. Reading this compelling book is like stumbling through a trapdoor into the writer's mind, where nothing is censored and everything is constantly examined and reinterpreted.
Guilherme Andrade on Goodreads wrote:
I wanted to like this book but in the end I suffered it. The unsung hero(heroine) of this book is the wife, she hardly gets a mention yet one gets the impression from this book that she kept the family together when the author seemed to be maintaining a pretty juvenile attitude throughout the book. His son is about 25 by the end of the book yet the father still does not seem to have come to terms with his son's intellectual disability. Perhaps it should be applauded for his honesty but I had hoped for some uplifting epiphany which is why I kept reading despite the vaguely nihilistic outlook of the author.
Also I would have liked to hear more about the son than the vignettes we got in this book.
It is a fantastic book. Very interesting approach the author chose. However, if you are not familiar with the structure used in this book, it can be a bit tiring.
I am very well surprised by this topic. The courage present!
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