An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins. (2020).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Julia is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her only son, Jackson, is different; different to his sisters, different to his classmates, different to everyone. Bringing up a child who is different isn’t easy. Then one day, something happens that changes everything for not only Jackson, but for every member in his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
I’ve read the author’s previous novels and enjoyed them so I was looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint at all, in fact I’d say it’s her best yet. It does explore some serious themes, and could be triggering for some readers. Jackson is described as “neurodiverse” which to my understanding meant he was different mentally to the average person however a formal diagnosis couldn’t be found as he didn’t fit under any particular condition/syndrome/label. When a serious accusation is made against him, all hell breaks loose for him and his family. I really appreciated that half of the book was narrated by Jackson; this let the reader experience the world from his point of view.
Overall this was an extremely well-written, emotionally charged and gripping read. Highly recommend.