One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | February 2017 Debut of the Month.
A rather special read indeed… there are times when you wonder how you've missed sight of, or hearing about a book, and for me this is one of them. This is a treat, a heartbreaking, funny, eye-opening, jam-packed full of love treat. Ben shares his story as he literally battles to place his autistic son Jonah, into what he considers is the right school. Ben and Jonah move in with Ben’s dad and we see what life is like for these three men as their worlds revolve around each other. Jem Lester writes with experience, yet he adds bittersweet, aching emotion, biting wit, and a lightness of touch that manages to skim joyfully across the pages. Letters from social services, the school, medical information, and receipts all find their way into the book, often bringing me up short and creating a link to the authenticity of the situation. ‘Shtum’ is brave, bold, and wonderful, it made me cry, rage, and laugh, and I loved every single beautiful second of it.
'Will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think' Graeme Simsion Funny, moving and uplifting, SHTUM is a novel about three generations of a family learning how to get along. Ten-year-old Jonah lives in a world of his own. He likes colours and feathers and the feel of fresh air on his skin. He dislikes sudden loud noises and any change to his daily routine. Jonah has never spoken, yet somehow he communicates better than all of the adults in his life. 'Fiercely funny ...an unforgettable first novel' The Times 'A book with true heart and soul' Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble With Goats and Sheep Inspired by the author's experiences with his own son, SHTUM will make you laugh, cry and smile. A must-read for fans of David Nicholls, THE ROSIE PROJECT and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. What readers are saying about this heartwarming book from Jem Lester: 'This book has gone onto my all-time favourite list' 'This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.' 'I cried my heart out.' 'A gripping and emotional story.' 'Brilliant humour.' 'Extremely moving.'
|Publication date:||26th January 2017|
|Publisher:||Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Collections:||80+ Books That Deliver a Hug , 50+ Emotionally Turbulent yet Beautiful Novels, 50 Books for Every Dad this Father's Day,|
|Primary Genre||Family Drama|
'A darker, sadder version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but just as moving' OBSERVER
'Jem Lester writes so beautifully, it feels as if you're eavesdropping on a conversation. Shtum is a book with true heart and soul, and I loved every word'
Joanna Cannon, author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP
'Angry and fiercely funny... The ending tears the heart out; this is an unforgettable first novel' THE TIMES
'This is the literary territory of Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby, infused with the Jewish humour of Howard Jacobson and Shalom Auslander ... an impressive novel that gives a very accurate portrayal of the struggles some families of autistic children endure, while taking the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride between pathos, comedy and anger' GUARDIAN
'Moving and, at times, painfully sad, Lester's account is also darkly funny. It is an important reminder of the complex spectrum of human emotion, and a profound insight into an often misunderstood disorder' STYLIST
'Powerful, unapologetic and deeply moving, Jem Lester mines a hard-hitting story to discover dark humour and surprising warmth. It's a book that breaks your heart but ultimately uplifts. A simply stunning novel' -- Miranda Dickinson
Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 - and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. He taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years. Jem has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and for them he accepts total responsibility. He lives in London with his partner and her two children. Jem's first novel, Shtum, won the 2013 PFD/City University Prize for Fiction. Author photo © ...More About Jem Lester