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Fiona Higgins

Autor(a) de The Mothers' Group

7 Works 105 Membros 13 Críticas

Obras por Fiona Higgins

The Mothers' Group (2012) 42 exemplares
Wife on the Run (2014) 19 exemplares
An Unusual Boy (2020) 19 exemplares
Fearless (2016) 17 exemplares
Love in The Age of Drought (2009) 6 exemplares
Weg van alles (2015) 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Higgins, Fiona



‘Everyone’s unusual. Just you remember that. No one’s bloody normal.’

Unfolding from the alternate perspectives of music therapist, Julia Curtis, and her son, eleven-year-old Jackson, An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins is an emotive family drama about an atypical child and his typical family.

Both a source of joy and frustration for his parents and siblings, 9-year-old Ruby and 14-year-old Milla, Jackson is smart, honest, and sweet but also has several behavioural tics, and difficulties with the nuances of communication, which mark him as neurodiverse. Having recently relocated from the inner city to a coastal suburb, Julia is delighted when Jackson is invited to a schoolmate’s home, but the friendship is short lived when the boys are accused of a reprehensible act. With her workaholic husband largely absent, a shell-shocked Julia struggles to deal with the fall-out from the incident, and advocate for her unusual boy.

Higgins portrayal of her characters is authentic and sensitive. It’s easy to sympathise with Julia, a harried mother juggling the challenges of caring for her three children while working part time with little support from anyone, including her often absent husband. Carrying the ‘emotional load’ of a family is exhausting at the best of times, but is even more so when your child has additional needs, and Julia’s struggles and mistakes feel realistic as she tries to do the best she can.

Jackson’s unusual thought processes and behaviour are communicated well. He is both literal and linear in his thinking, and has obsessive-compulsive traits. Often overwhelmed by his thoughts and the workings of his prodigious memory, his behaviours are sometimes bizarre, and relating to others is a daily challenge. Jackson is an appealing character who evokes empathy in the reader, but in reality would likely frustrate and annoy adults who lack such insight, as shown by the impatience of his teacher, and the reactions to his headstands in a cafe. While society in general is more accepting of diversity these days, issues remain, particularly when those differences are not physically evident, and labels fail to neatly summarise a condition.

The incident (TW: sexual assault) which sparks a crisis for the Curtis family is dealt with sensitively by Higgins. The fall out highlights the common failings of adults when dealing with a neurodiverse child. It’s also a reminder that compassion, not judgement, should be our default when dealing with children, there is more than one victim here.

The only thing I thought was out of place in the novel was the use of currently nonexistent VR technology used to underscore the vulnerability of children online. There are possibilities aplenty for the exploitation of children via the internet without the need for a ‘sci-fi’ element, and unsupervised access is not the only condition for risk.

Beautifully written with grace and humour, An Unusual Boy is a thought-provoking, tender and moving novel that explores diversity, family, and humanity.
… (mais)
shelleyraec | 1 outra crítica | Oct 27, 2020 |
The cover and blurb for this book really intrigued me so I had to give it a read!

I really liked how the author didn’t jump straight into the incident in the toilets, we are given chance to meet the characters, to learn a bit more about them and become invested in the outcome. I also enjoyed how the book alternated chapters between Julia and Jackson’s viewpoint.

I really enjoyed this book for it’s perspective on what it is like to live with, and as, a neurodiverse person. There are so many small things that you just wouldn’t consider, and this book helps to shine a light on some of these important issues. It was a gripping read, and I did not see the twist coming!


I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book provided by the publisher Boldwood books and NetGalley. However, the thoughts expressed are totally my own.
… (mais)
Kera.Cudmore | 1 outra crítica | Oct 6, 2020 |
I received this as an ARC and wasn't sure to begin with if I would like it. Before long the lives and fears of the characters had captured my imagination, though. When the story took a new and explosive direction I found the book next to impossible to put down. The characters, and their problems, are real and relatable. It gives perspective to the fears we all carry, without belittling them, giving hope that life can change for the better.
A wonderful tale with elements of love, romance, drama, and tragedy.
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.
… (mais)
AngelaJMaher | 2 outras críticas | Jun 18, 2018 |
What an awesome book! I read the last half of it in one sitting - I couldn't put it down. Haunting storylines, interesting characters and as the 'unspeakable act' unfolded I was gripping my seat. I feel like these people are my friends and I was there with them. Amazing book!
jhullie | 2 outras críticas | Mar 20, 2018 |



½ 3.7

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