Daniel Isn't Talking

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Marti Leimbach’s first novel, Dying Young, was called “a masterpiece of details that always ring true, with the sad, funny and fascinating unpredictability of real life.” With the same talent and perception, Leimbach’s new

Marti Leimbach’s first novel, Dying Young, was called “a masterpiece of details that always ring true, with the sad, funny and fascinating unpredictability of real life.” With the same talent and perception, Leimbach’s new novel takes the reader to London, to the home of the Marshes: Stephen Marsh, a true Brit; Melanie, a transplanted American; and their two children, four-year-old Emily and Daniel, just three. When it is conveyed that Daniel is autistic, the orderly life of the Marsh family is shattered.Melanie is determined to fight to teach Daniel to speak, play and become as “normal” as possible. Her enchanting disposition has already helped her weather other of life’s storms, but Daniel’s autism may just push her over the brink, destroying her resolute optimism and bringing her unsteady marriage to an inglorious end. The situation is not helped by Stephen’s far-from-supportive parents, who proudly display the family tree with Melanie’s name barely penciled in, and who remain disconcertingly attached to Stephen’s ex-fiancée, a woman apparently intent on restaking her claim on Stephen. Melanie does have one strong ally in Andy, a talented and off-the-wall play therapist who specializes in teaching autistic children. Andy proves that Daniel is far more capable than anyone imagined, and Melanie finds herself drawn to him even as she staggers toward resolving her marriage.Daniel Isn’t Talking is a moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis. What sets it apart from most fiction about difficult subjects is the author’s ability to write about a sad and frightening situation with a seamless blend of warmth, compassion and humor.

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