Another huge gap between books, I know. But marathon training is almost over and I hope I won’t be falling asleep with the light on every night.

Another reason why finishing the next book took so long: I wasn’t sure if I was going to hang with Fathermuckerby Greg Olear. I had the same issue with this novel as I had with Book 2 of 52, Truth in Advertising, the “wheeeee look at what I can do with these words!”

But instead of an advertising guy, here we have a stay at home dad. He has two children, Roland and Maude. Roland has Asperger syndrome, and it isn’t until Olear dives into the history of autism and Asperger, starting with when these children were thought to be demonized, that the novel settles down and gets on with it, and Fathermucker becomes less about an attempt to put dazzling words around parenting, but a story about a family that might be coming apart, and how they fit in with the other less than perfect families in town (no, I’m not giving it away, dear readers). The book is also about what happens when two create people settle down and have a family – and what ambitions were lost, and if that’s a good or bad thing.

I ended up liking the book in the end, which was surprising given the start. I still think the beginning could have used a good, hard edit, but the book was published in 2011. Too late for that.

I must have met Olear at Book Expo America – my copy is a galley, and it’s signed – and I lugged this book through not one but two moves. I found it when I unpacked my books. I’m glad I held onto it.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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