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This is the true story of two adults with Asperger's Syndrome (a high functioning form of autism) who meet and fall in love. The book has alternating chapters from each perspective, starting when they were young and progressing through their relationship. Both struggled through a confused and frustrating childhood. When they met as adults, they were thrilled to find kindred spirits in each other. But when they got married, it was a near disaster.
When they met, Mary had been through many troubling relationships, Jerry had never had one before. Mary is highly artistic and musical, Jerry is a numerical savant. Mary was wildly spontaneous, unpredictable and prone to depression. Jerry had a very routine, structured life with terrible outbursts of anger when his order was disrupted. Due to their disability, they both had a serious lack of empathy and inability to compromise. Through sheer willpower they tried to stay together. Their story is told with brutal honesty, frankness and quite a bit of humor. It will make you laugh and nearly cry, and admire the great strides Jerry and Mary make in struggling to overcome their difficulties and keep their relationship intact.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-10-09 The realization that "our community seemed to know more about the first twenty years of an autistic person's life than it did about the rest of that life" leads the Newports to tell their own boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-finds-girl love story but with a difference, for both suffer from Asperger's syndrome. At times, this "terminal cluelessness" seems both the cause of and the least of their problems: Jerry's life "had drifted from one failed vocation to the next, [among them] pot dealer, horse-race betting fanatic, taxi driver, Goodwill bell ringer, bookstore cashier, elementary school librarian." Mary's more traumatic experiences included a cult marriage, abusive lovers and mental hospital stints. Both grapple with anxiety and despair before epiphanies: for Jerry, when he sees Rain Man; for Mary, when her brother directs her to the Autistic Society. Love for the two slips in the day they meet at a party for adult autistics. Then they experienced media fame, becoming "Mr. and Mrs. Autism" (a front-page profile in the Los Angeles Times; a 60 Minutes visit; an eponymous movie). Boy loses girl again in a divorce, but love triumphs. Along the way, autistic readers will find comforting fellowship, and general readers will acquire valuable knowledge. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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