Read Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach Online


Melanie Marsh is an American living in London married to Stephen, the perfect Englishman, who knew the minute he saw her that she was to be his future. But when their youngst child is diagnosed with autism their marriage starts to unravel at great speed. Stephen runs back into the arms of his previous girlfriend while Melanie does everything in her power to help her son anMelanie Marsh is an American living in London married to Stephen, the perfect Englishman, who knew the minute he saw her that she was to be his future. But when their youngst child is diagnosed with autism their marriage starts to unravel at great speed. Stephen runs back into the arms of his previous girlfriend while Melanie does everything in her power to help her son and keep her family together.Daniel Isn't Talking is a passionate and darkly humorous novel that explores a mother's determination to help her child. A love story for grown-ups, it somehow extends its wisdom far beyond the parameters of disablity and into the substance of human nature itself. A tense, moving novel that will make you laugh out loud even as it breaks your heart....

Title : Daniel Isn't Talking
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780641893438
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 281 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Daniel Isn't Talking Reviews

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2019-03-31 23:40

    Onvan : Daniel Isn't Talking - Nevisande : Marti Leimbach - ISBN : 307275728 - ISBN13 : 9780307275721 - Dar 288 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2006

  • Christine
    2019-04-17 03:34

    My fury. Let me show you it.First, when I read that there was a "devastating" diagnosis, I assumed it was something terminal. ASD is life-altering, not devastating. ASD is not going to kill my child. There are worse things. Second, when the MMR line came up? Book went flying across the room. Third, and I am saying this as an ASD mother as well, stop stop STOP with the Jenny McCarthy warrior mother/tiger mother/whatever her line is crap. Parents do what they need to when their child needs help because that is just what parents do. ASD parents are no more special than the millions of other parents with their own challenges. We're playing the hand we're dealt. My particular challenge could probably rewire my house. He rocks.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-19 07:49

    Don't read this book!!! The author gives a completely stereotyped, unrealistic portrayal of children with autism. Being a speech-language pathologist that works with children with autism, I was offended by the generalized portrayal and lack of research put into this book. I actually wrote to the author because I was enraged by her portrayal of speech therapist in certain chapters.

  • Victoria
    2019-04-17 00:36

    I really enjoyed this book - so much of what Leimbach described about dealing with having a child with a disability made me think while I was reading that she must have dealt with this on a personal level. And since the book cover didn't tell me, it wasn't until I read about it on Amazon that I realized that Daniel was based on her own autistic son. Which certainly explains how she really nailed the emotional frenzy accompanying such a diagnosis. It was a sad book, but really, probably eye-opening for those who have no real experience in dealing with autism, Fragile X Syndrome, or other developmental delays. I don't know how effective this play therapy would be in real life - I can certainly see it working for some kids, but the quick progress that Daniel made put the book firmly in fiction, based on everything that I have seen. Still, I don't know that you could really have a book be enjoyable with little progress made over a short time frame.So, while this was my main complaint with the book, I understand that a book with a more realistic timeline for potty training, and speech would probably be a lot less readable for the targeted audience - those without a lot of knowledge of what it is like to suddenly have to deal with autism.Anyhow, the best part of the novel, I thought was that in the end, the mother makes the right decision regarding her marriage. The author really did a terrific job of vilifying the husband - an understandable villain, I suppose, but a villain nonetheless. Still, this was a good, if rather sad book, that did a good job with a tough subject.

  • Wahidah
    2019-03-30 02:32

    I didn't quite like this one. I usually savour books about people/kids with disability, poverty or war but this one lacked flavour. It's simply about this mother with an autistic kid. I feel like her character's too whiny, and autism isn't the worst thing that can happen to your child. She's negative and paranoid - which is quite annoying because she's white, living comfortably in London with food on her table and a roof over her head. In the book however this is addressed - with one of the characters (the mother's Indian maid) saying "You are a white woman living in a white woman's paradise. This is not the worst thing that can happen." It was perhaps the only time I applauded the author's writing. Other than that, it quite hurts to read about a woman who does not seem like she has a grip on things - and continues to lose her grip all the way till the end. Also, in many aspects I didn't feel an emotional connection to any of the characters at all. I have no pity for either mother or child. I have read other books that have made me cry over their characters and their losses but this book made me annoyed for most of the time. Alright, I'll give it a little credit, while the story started out painfully slow, it picked up a teeny bit in the third quarter and at least it had a nice, happy ending.

  • Chinook
    2019-04-12 02:27

    In "Daniel Isn’t Talking", Marti Leimbach has written a novel about a mother discovering her son has autism and trying to find him treatment. I must say, it got quite an emotional response from me. I was ready to kill the asshole husband and all the doctors who wrote off Daniel as untreatable. I really liked it, though I haven’t got a lot to say about it. What did really resonant with me was the following quote:“When Stephen left, it was like an emptying out of my life, of all our years together. It was as though where once there had been the essential everyday tools of living – cutlery and scissors, car keys and batteries – there was now an empty drawer. But then I discovered something. It seemed there lay buried inside me a different person than the one who had been living with Stephen. Perhaps, through some subtle sleight of hand, love affairs alter you, displace you, transform you into a kind of alternative person. Andy would say they left their mark. The person I had been with Stephen was similar but not identical to the person I became after he left.”

  • Lindsay
    2019-04-18 07:27

    We first meet Melanie, the protagonist and narrator of Daniel Isn't Talking, at a particularly vulnerable point in her life. She's a new arrival in an unfamiliar country, having emigrated from the United States to England to set up house with her new husband in a cottage owned by his family; she's not working, and is dependent on her husband for both financial support and social ties; she doesn't really know her husband all that well, as she seems to have turned to him soon after losing her boyfriend at the time in a tragic motorcycle accident; and she has two small children, the elder of whom is four years old and, you might have guessed, can't talk.It's soon made clear that young Daniel has autism, and on the heels of that discovery, all hell breaks loose in Melanie's personal life. Her husband abandons her, leaving her the cottage but cutting off his financial support of her. With no job, two children to feed, and Daniel's various expensive tests and therapies to pay for, she is soon reduced to selling off everything in the house that isn't nailed down.The rest of the book is about how Melanie gets on her feet again, establishing herself independently in this new environment, finding the right therapist for her son, getting her daughter started in school, and falling in love. This story --- Melanie recovering from the shock of her husband leaving her, and finally getting past her grief for her lover, and starting to live for herself again --- is good enough, if a bit cliche. Supporting characters make it more interesting, like Melanie's friend Veena, another immigrant (albeit from India, not the US), who works as a cleaning lady while studying philosophy. She is funny, interesting, supportive of Melanie and understanding of Daniel in ways that Melanie, mired in her angst, can't be. She also gives Melanie needed perspective: she reminds her, gently but firmly, that worse fates exist than having an abnormal child. (I wanted to stand up and cheer when she said that; Melanie's woe-is-me, my-son-is-broken act REALLY got on my nerves!) That said, the Melanie/Veena relationship smelled uncomfortably like white-lady patronage to me. Melanie pays Veena to clean her house, though she is not very good at it; what Melanie is really buying is her conversation. Another supporting character I liked was Melanie's brother, who is barely in the book at all but who intrigued me. He lives in the US and takes care of traumatized parrots. Melanie doesn't like him very much, chiefly because he doesn't help her in any way when she's on her own and broke. She is disgusted by the fact that he has so much empathy for his birds but none at all for her.The biggest thing that bothered me about this book was its treatment of Daniel, and, through him, autism in general. See, Daniel is really not a character in this book so much as a plot device, a Thing Melanie Must See Through. It's kind of hard to articulate why I think he's objectified in the text, since the story belongs to Melanie --- I would be unreasonable to expect all Daniel, all the time --- but it seems like Marti Leimbach never gives any hint, not only of what Daniel is thinking or feeling at any time, but that he can think or feel at all. He seems reduced to a collection of sullen silences, bizarre behaviors and random temper tantrums. In this, the book compares really unfavorably with Keiko Tobe's manga series "With the Light," which tells a very similar story about a young mother and her autistic little boy, but in which both characters are portrayed with equal depth, nuance and sensitivity.

  • Steph
    2019-03-29 01:36

    Very enjoyable novel about motherhood and autism. As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I found everything -- from Melanie's fear, guilt, and grief when she faces the diagnosis to the infuriating frustration of dealing with professionals -- believable and easy to relate to.Memorable quotes:I've begun to understand that once you are a mother there is just no safe place to cast a vote. Everything you do, the consequences of every action, you will take to the grave. And there is no point in assigning blame.Emily runs to him, holding the corners of drawings she's made. They flap in the breeze, showing colors all the way to the edges. Her best work, the ones for Daddy. It seems to me this habit she has of only showing him what she does best an ominous sign for the future. How can I stop my little girl from trying too hard for men? How can I show her that the best thing she can ever do it be herself, full of rough edges and the complex logic that is her own?To ask a person to do nothing for their child or do very little is unfair. For them to do nothing means they have to fight the overwhelming desire to push away the danger, to run through the flames, to slay the dragon. However hopeless the situation might appear, it is infinitely more difficult to do nothing than an ill-considered something.

  • Lynn
    2019-04-13 01:39

    For me, this book simply did not live up to all the hype. Neither in content nor style.The plot of the novel (and that is what this is a NOVEL, not a memoir) was acceptable. Given the difficulty of taking on a subject such as autism, you have to give the author some credit. But it just didn't shine. It seemed to me that the book focused around the main character's overwhelming sense of loss: of her child, of her husband, and of all sense of normalcy. Which would be fine, but she doesn't make any real strides to gain any of it back. The book surprisingly focuses little on her son with autism. It's almost as if he is an after thought to the sufferings she must go through. The skewed emphasis on the mother's love life was also somewhat distracting. Although I'm certain with the challenges of autism comes other family problems, and the character's issues are probably not too far from the truth for some parents. However, I was so busy being angry with the husband that I really couldn't focus on any other part of the story line.Just two stars - because I would rather read a memoir, and because the hype was just too much.

  • Megan
    2019-03-27 00:52

    I liked this book because it departs from the cliche of most books about children with autism. It still provides many insights about autism and its effect on the family, but rather than centering on the child's condition, the author chose to highlight the bumpy but realistic personal journey of his mother. She starts out rather insecure, and makes a lot of the classic relationship mistakes of the young (including being so blinded by her first real love affair that she fails to recognize her husband's true character and to appreciate the significance of his family's extreme dysfunction). She is then forced to undergo rapid personal growth as she copes with seeking out what's best for her child and facing up to the problems in her marriage. Watching her grow and improve was as fascinating to me as learning about the latest developments in managing autism.

  • Laurie
    2019-04-05 07:50

    I found the book to be readable and felt it does a good job of portraying what it's like for some families who are new to the diagnosis. However, I would have rather seen the author discredit the dangerous "vaccines cause autism" theory rather than just bringing it up as a possible cause. Leaving it with a question mark suggests that it may be a credible theory ... which it is definitely not. I would have rated it higher if the author had of either left it out entirely or used the book as an opportunity to educate people that vaccines do not cause autism.

  • Patti
    2019-04-16 00:53

    A fictional tale of a woman coping with her young autistic son. The author creates a fantasy world for her characters and nothing about it seems accurate or true. I wanted to hurl this book across the room at least three times. I hated the protagonist, who seemed snotty, and I didn’t care about anyone else. This book got good reviews, why? I want my money back.

  • Kristal
    2019-04-17 00:33

    Daniel Isn’t Talking, by Marti Leimbach is a first-person narrative of Melanie Marsh’s life. She is American, married to Stephen and living in England. A stay at home mom, Melanie enjoys her days with her children, Emily (four) and Daniel (three), until the day Daniel is diagnosed with autism, explaining his odd behaviors and confirming Melanie’s concerns for her youngest child. Melanie is devastated, but her friend Veena explains that autism is not the end of the world—Daniel is a healthy and happy child—but it takes some time for Melanie to realize this. Disagreements between Melanie and Stephen regarding Daniel’s care, therapy, and education create a rift that eventually leads to divorce. Stephen feels that a school for children with special needs is best; Melanie feels that she is the best caregiver and support system for Daniel. When Stephen leaves, returning to his ex-lover, and paying no child support, Melanie is determined to do what she feels best for Daniel, even if best requires selling furniture and other belongings in order to pay the fees for a behavioral therapist named Andy O’Connor. Andy O’Connor works magic in the Marsh household—teaching Daniel how to speak, teaching Melanie how to work with Daniel, and teaching Melanie that she can love without compromising her mothering instincts. Love and hope work together in this novel about a mother’s unconditional love for her children.Although this novel was not fast-paced by any means, the writing style drew me in and made me want to keep reading—a great quality in a book lacking surprise or adventure. Told from the perspective of a mother, and written by an author with an autistic son, I felt this novel was quite believable and covered the wide gamut of emotions women feel in extreme circumstances. I cried with Melanie out of frustration and fear, I rejoiced when Daniel started speaking and began learning “normal” behaviors, I found comfort in the friendship between Veena and Melanie, I found humor in Emily and Daniel’s actions, and I was furious when Stephen left his family.Genre: Women’s Lives and RelationshipsThree Appeals: •leisurely paced, but not boring•thoughtful, humorous, and optimistic•female protagonist facing family and friendship crises

  • Amanda
    2019-03-29 07:55

    This book was great. It's about a woman and a marriage and a kid and a family and how they all bounce off of each other and collapse and grow. Daniel has autism. It's hard to understand what is happening with him at first because he is a normally functioning baby. Melanie takes on the challenge and holds on with all the courage she can gather. She goes to the doctors appointments seeks out other people tries to connect in her fragile world. Steven doesn't make it. This is not the kind of child he wanted. Not the kind of life he was raised to expect for himself. In the end Melanie meets a wonderful teacher and friend. She doesn't take Steven back. She won't wait for him.This book colors an experience of someone who is responsible for caring for someone else with tremendous needs and how that experience is life changing and full of love.

  • Diane
    2019-04-20 01:34

    I've read several fictionalized accounts of families dealing with an autistic child, and this one sounded so good. However, I was very disappointed. The protaganist just isn't believable and I'm not sure why. Her grief over her son's situation seems one-dimensional. I think if someone wants to read a really good account of coming to grips with being the mother of an austistic child, they should read "A Certain Slant of Light" or "Elijah's Cup of Tea." Both true stories written by the mother, each one is well written and the fact that the stories are true makes them much more compelling.

  • Readitnweep
    2019-03-24 07:31

    One of our sons has autism. Our family has been dealing with the issue for twelve years now, so I look for books to read involving it. This book was a huge disappointment.It struck me as more of a rant about her husband and her own emotions than how this affected her son and his life. If anyone would like to read a great book on the autism experience, I do recommend John Elder Robison's Look Me in the Eye, which is a memoir by someone with autism. It would be great to find a good book on how it affects the family as a whole, but, in my experience, this isn't it.

  • Lisa of Hopewell
    2019-04-17 01:28

    Got to the licking of an eyeball and then a tongue bath. Barfed. Threw book across room. Will not be returning to this one--even though the story has great promise. What kind of editor thinks I need details like that in a story about Autism????????

  • Cate
    2019-04-19 01:32

    Didn't like this one at all. It had a completely unbelievable fairy-tale ending.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-08 03:29

    No good at all. The mother was infuriating.

  • Sheila
    2019-03-26 07:44

    Vaccines don’t cause autism. Unorthodox ideas don’t cure it. But autistic kids are real individuals with real families, and Marti Leimback’s novel convincingly evokes that reality with engaging humor and enthralling detail. The only way I knew this book was fiction, in fact, was from the way those details drew me to share the protagonist’s life rather than just hearing about it.An American woman living in England, Melanie feels that slight detachment from reality familiar to expats everywhere. A fracturing marriage adds to the separation of real life from intended dreams. But her autistic child is even more detached, and Melanie fights to get the right treatment for him—treatment that might work—running the gamut of “was it the vaccine?” “will goat’s milk help?” and “please don’t lock him away in a school for no-hopers.”Daniel isn't Talking isn't a personal experience story or a self-help book. In fact, it would probably be risky to use it for self-help as, among other things, it honestly explores the doubts a mother might have about the vaccines and the prognoses given her child. But it's an enthralling novel, filled with memorably characters, humor, pathos and hope. Its miracles are those small miracles of real life, and its message offers a hope worth pursuing, for mothers, wives, carers and children alike.Disclosure: I picked it up at a book exchange because I have a relative with autism.

  • Zoe
    2019-04-01 03:30

    Melanie can't understand why her three year old can't talk and avoids all sorts of human interaction. When they, Melanie and her husband Stephen, finally find the cause of why their son is the way he is they don't know what to do. He's autistic. Stephen unable to cope with Melanie's overbearing motherly instincts and his son's autism runs into the arms of an old flame. Left alone to try and help her son, Melanie turns to, Andy, a man who deals with and helps autistic children and their families. Will Melanie and her family ever be able to move on and find the happiness they deserve.When I first saw this book I thought it could be interesting don't get me wrong it was. I just didn't like the attitude of the book, the way it was written or the female protagonist.This book irritated me more than words can describe. The protagonist was more concerned about making her autistic son "normal" than with learning to cope with his condition. Yes, I understand that you'd do anything and everything you can to help your child become the very best they can be. I didn't feel this was the case with Melanie. I felt she just wanted to do anything and everything she could to stop her son being autistic but not for him, for HER. This book to me belittled everything about a disabled person making them seem like nothing but dribbling imbeciles. This quote could possibly be why I came to this conclusion: "But I don't want to put him in a classroom. What is so great about a classroom anyway? It holds no magic. How will it help him, to be with children whose behaviour is abnormal?... All he will do is imitate children who aren't acting like ordinary children in the first place. I've spent six months teaching him how to imitate and now they want his role models to be children who are not able to attend regular school themselves?"She was more focused on ranting about her husband, or rather soon-to-be ex, and being "me, me, me" focused. I nearly gave up several times and carried on hoping the book would get better. I hate to say it didn't. This was full of stereotypes. The attitude about special schools, well, that just annoyed me more. Not only was it deemed to be more of a prison, or even worse a concentration camp, but that only the simpletons of the world dare pass their threshold - having had a sibling go to such a place and met people from there I know this is not the case. Here's an example that showcases why I got irritated and perfectly sums up the book: "'He's autistic. That's what they've said. He will not grow up like a normal child. It's the worst thing that can possibly happen." He's autistic so therefore he's not going to have anything that slightly resembles a life that the mass majority have.

  • Irishcoda
    2019-04-01 03:29

    I am not surprised to read that Marti Leimbach has an autistic son. Anyone who could write characters as well as she either must have a lot of personal experience or is a genius. I liked the book a lot and it's a good one to read to learn about the impact autism has on family members, particularly the mother.Melanie Marsh is an American married to a veddy proper Englishman named Stephen. His family is la-dee-dah and since Melanie is so much an individual, the first thing I wondered is how she and Stephen even got together in the first place. He turns out to be an insensitive idiot and his family is not much better, except for sister Cath.When we first meet Melanie, she's the somewhat hysterical mother to two small but perfect (or so it seemed) children, Emily and Daniel. The thing is, Daniel's almost 3 and not talking. He's also withdrawn, seems deaf, doesn't interact with other people, doesn't play creatively...and Melanie's red flags are waving everywhere. Stephen thinks she's overreacting but it turns out she's not.Daniel reminded me so much of our Little T in so many mannerisms and I just knew that Leimbach had to have some kind of personal experience with this. A savior in the form of an offbeat Irish early education teacher named Andrew appears to work with Daniel and help bring him to the world.By then the family is shattered and it's up to Melanie to keep what's left of them together. Good, informative read!

  • Tricia Rogers
    2019-04-21 06:30

    Within reading 30 pages of this book, I thought the author had read my thoughts on several things. How could she know about these things that I've thought, that I've felt, that I've dealt with ..... an author just can't write about Autism like this unless she knows something about it. So I looked her up on the Internet and found that she has an Autistic child so some of the things in the book are things she has thought, felt and dealt with. I really enjoyed this book. One particular scene made me cry because I knew EXACTLY what the Mom was feeling. Unbelievable the emotions she touched in me. However, once she begins therapy with Daniel you know immediately that the book is fiction. I mean seriously, her nonverbal son begins gaining words at unbelievable speed and in six months he has accomplished what I've been trying to do with Owen for six years ... what others mothers of Autistic children have been dealing with and trying to accomplish for yeas with no success as well. But the emotions are what makes the book wonderful. The husband is a complete and total ASSHOLE! He deserves what he gets for the way he treats his wife and son. Literally hurt my heart the things he said and did. Overall a very moving, emotional story. Thanks for the recommendation Lori Meredith Willhite.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-16 00:53

    I don't even remember how this book made it onto my shelf. I picked it up the other day, because I wanted a paperback to carry with me. And strangely, it took me about 50 pages to realize that this wasn't a memoir. Instead, it's a novel about a woman coming to terms with her child's autism (and coming to terms with the fact that not everybody is willing to do what's necessary to support him).I'm pretty sure that if I were a part of the autism community, this book would have been somewhat infuriating. After all, there's the sexy play therapist who 1) works for free; 2) works some real magic; and 3) falls in love with the bedraggled mom at the center of the story. Plus, there's a secondary character who is perfectly willing to provide full-time child care for the main character's preschooler so that the focus can remain on the little boy with autism. Still, there was something captivating about the story. I liked it.

  • zespri
    2019-04-01 05:25

    Great title - and the reason Daniel isn't talking is that he is autistic. This is a novel about a mum who refuses to give up on her autistic son, and interestingly, the author does actually have an autistic child. I wondered as I read the novel if this was so, as she captures the range of emotions beautifully. From 'knowing' something is not quite right with her boy in the face of her family's dismissal that anything is wrong, through her fight to help him become as fully able to function in the non-autistic world as possible.

  • Veronica Zundel
    2019-04-24 07:42

    Living with an autistic child, the subject of this novel, was bound to be of interest to me as the mother of a son with Asperger's Syndrome. I found the narrative gripping but the author sometimes made huge plot jumps without filling in how she got from there to here, so it gave something of the impression of a film rather than a novel. Lots of details, like the horror of going to paediatricians and the real community between autism parents, rang very true, though the characters were sometimes less than three dimensional. Worth reading but only once.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-15 06:32

    3.5 I liked this book, although I am not a believer that shots cause autism. It will be a good discussion at group next week.

  • Lea
    2019-04-16 07:54

    Melanie is a housewife living in England with her British husband Stephen. They have two children, Emily and Daniel. All is going well for the family until Melanie notices that something is wrong with Daniel, although Stephen refuses to accept the truth. Melanie then sets out on her solo journey to find answers and help for Daniel, who has been diagnosed with autism. This is a read that will encourage parents of children with autism because Melanie’s stubborn refusal to quit is what helps her son. The whole family is affected by Daniel and his inability to communicate or play in the ways of normal children. It is a novel that speaks to the truth that the parents who are the most vocal advocates are the ones who find the help for their children. Everything Melanie does for Daniel comes at a great personal cost to her, but the cost is worth it if only Daniel can start talking. As the grandparent of a non-verbal autistic granddaughter whom I greatly love, I was enmeshed in this story and wishing that the same kind of therapy could be done for her and that it would work.

  • Sophie Gronn
    2019-03-29 02:36

    I rarely dislike a book as much as I disliked this one. First off, I have a child with autism so I'm a tough critic of books that have autism in the plot. Second, I know that autism doesn't present itself in the same way with every person, and my experience as a parent isn't everyone else's.That said, I felt the mother character in this book was very unlikable. I hated the way she was portrayed as martyr-mommy-warrior and the ex-husband was a villian who abandoned them. I didn't like that there wasn't any therapists who were good enough or understood what was going on -- only mom could understand what was going on. Until mom met the therapist she ended up having a romantic relationship with-- only he could help her son. Good grief. I literally threw this book across the room when I was finished with it.

  • Carmen
    2019-04-12 04:35

    How many clichés can you pack into a book about living with a special needs child? Depression - check. Marriage falling apart - check. Useless Husband who's practically caveman in his emotions - check. I won't continue for the risk of spoilers. A lot of the tone of this book is whiny. I wish, just for once, people's lives aren't over when a diagnosis (any diagnosis, not just autism!) in literature doesn't bring the character's lives to a screeching halt.Disliked the ending, too. Just when the protagonist is making major life changes, she's happy, so the book ends. The entire book is about her emotional well-being, not the family dynamics surrounding her.