‘My Little Brother, My Little Life’ by Dee Gordon is a novel about living and dealing with autism in the family. When the press release popped into my inbox, it immediately caught my attention, as I am currently working as a SEN teaching assistant alongside children who have autism.
The story starts with Linda, her father Frank, and her autistic brother Douggie just after the mother has left. Linda, who is five years older than Douggie, takes on the responsibility of looking after her younger brother, never questioning his quirks and differences. As far as she sees it, Douggie is her brother, and she loves him and protects him no matter what.
The story moves us through Linda’s childhood and teenage years, and into her first marriage and pregnancy. even though her own family is growing in size and importance, Douggie is always there in the background. Middle age, divorce, and a new relationship looms and Linds is still living with the guilt over her mother’s abandonment, never really knowing if it was her fault and whether she is doing the right thing for Douggie.
It touches on some uncomfortable themes – poverty, infertility, and domestic violence being some of them. It’s an easy read, but that’s because it seemed to fly through the story, without really developing much further. I would have liked to have deeper characters to make it a little more relatable. However, it was an interesting perspective on autism, particularly in adults.
If you want to check it out, you can buy it on Amazon for £9.99.
*I was sent a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Contains affiliate link.