Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach

Daniel Isn't Talking

Marti Leimbach

How desperate must a woman feel to turn her back on the conventional treatment offered to her autistic son? A deeply passionate and engrossing novel that makes you appreciate the lengths that a mother will go to in order to help her child.

Extract

'Stephen - ' I feel myself panicking a little. I know I ought to have some explanation and some sort of ... what would you call it? ... remedy for what is happening here, but I do not. Daniel seems to be using his head like a floor mop. What would other mothers do? They all seem so capable, so commanding; but it seems to me that all they every argue about with their children is why the broccoli is left on the plate, or why the child can't find his shoes. Nothing like this. Daniel is hysterical and I'm feeling not too far behind him. And now, to my horror, he is not only dragging his head across the floor but pushing it down into the carpet, as though trying to hurt himself on purpose, which only makes him cry more. 'Stephen, look at this!'

But just then Emily appears at the bottom of the stairs, holding up her Mickey Mouse and smiling.

Stephen says, 'Daniel has a headache, that's all.'

But I notice he's looking at Emily when he says this. It's as though he cannot bring himself to see what I see. In front of me, Daniel is pushing his head into the corner of the room and pressing it there with every ounce of strength he has.

Parallels
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  • Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult