Far From the Tree
By Andrew Solomon
- Release Date: 2012-11-13
- Genre: Social Science
Far From the Tree Andrew Solomon Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
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User reviews about this book
Simultaneously one of the most fascinating and moving books I've ever read.
What a fascinating, challenging, intelligent, well-written, well thought out, and compassionate book. It taught me more than I thought I needed to learn about tolerance and empathy and human resilience. I was moved by the stories in this book from the perspective of both a parent and a child.
This book is a cross between sociological analysis and the story of the author's own self-discovery. There were many poignant stories expressing the depths of parental love and acceptance in extremely challenging situations. The research is a love story to human diversity and will bring the reader to a place of more compassion for and acceptance of those who are different.
Please do not let the negative review discourage you. It is not accurate. The cleft-palate story is actually an extreme example of the opposite of what the reviewer said-- the parents were so accepting of their child's differences (which were much more vast and dehabilitating than simply a cleft palate) that they neglected to get her proper diagnostic care that could have saved her life. The author recognizes the fault in this instance.
The author also analyzes both sides of the issues for treatment of the various conditions in the book, recognizing that many can improve quality of life while others are more controversial due to cultural beliefs or medical risks. He really does not draw definitive conclusions one way or the other regarding the ethics of these interventions, concluding more that the choices are personal and vary case by case. The treatments are often extreme-- cochlear implants, limb-lengthening, etc. that are not always medically necessary and that are obviously controversial.
Written with Care
By Reading in the dark
I almost opted out of reading this book because of a negative review here. I am so glad I did not. The book is written honestly, from the author who addresses his life experiences and how these experiences have effect his different perceptions on himself and others in his immediate world. It is my opinion that it is flawed to refer as the writing as whiny; again, it feels most honest. This is not an academically written work, therefore allowing for the intimacy the writer established with those he interviewed to be exposed and, thankfully, shared. I see into lives that greatness and sadness find consistently moments of great equilibrium. This book should be read with care for it was written with care.
By Ranae Lemcke
I see children and their parents nearly daily. Most of the children have had surgery for congenital heart disease. Many of them have developmental delays, either due to direct genetic association with the heart disease, for instance, Down syndrome, or due to the hemodynamic problems their body has undergone. By reading the book, I hoped to understand how these parents thought and coped. Instead, I found ridiculous assertions, such as repairing a baby with cleft and lip implied the family did not accept the baby as she was, and somehow were covertly saying they wished this child had not been born.
This author spends page after page whining about not being accepted because he was gay, Jewish, dyslexic, and depressed. Hr himself sees these as abnormal, yet chastises parents who seek legitimate therapies for their children with disabilities.
One of the worst statements in the book was that parents who become activists are doing so simply to get out of the house away from their child.
This is a truly awful, insulting, and narcissist book. I recommend it to no one.