April 2nd is designated as World Autism Awareness Day. In celebration of this event I'm pleased to share a very honest, heart-wrenching and heart-warming memoir about raising a child with learning disabilities. KNOW THE NIGHT is one of those memoirs I feel the need to sum up by exclaiming, "Read this!" but that's probably not quite enough for you to go on so read on.
In KNOW THE NIGHT, Maria Mutch shares a 2-year period parenting her son Gabriel who has severe autism and Down Syndrome. Mutch describes her lonely nights and emotional isolation dealing with fears of the unknown and anxiety surrounding Gabe's restless sleep and wakeful nights.
"If there's one thing to be said about the night, it's that companions are beneficial. No one should be alone."
During these "small hours" Mutch finds escape and solace in reading ALONE by antarctic explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Mutch draws parallels with Byrd who suffered isolation and struggled to survive in the polar darkness. In Gabe's world of lost words and multiple medical concerns he finds peace and order with the soothing sounds of jazz music.
This memoir was a personal reading experience for me as a parent to a young man on the autism spectrum. Just like Mutch, I found the feeling of isolation very difficult during my son's early years even with the help of a very supportive spouse. Mutch took on Gabe's challenging period and found strength to meet his physical needs, soothe his spirit and develop a parent-child connection. I spent countless hours encouraging my son to venture outside his internal world and use language to communicate with the outside world. I believe anyone who is raising, teaching or mentoring a person with autism, Down Syndrome or any combination of learning disabilities will find a connection to Mutch and enjoy the poetic writing style in KNOW THE NIGHT.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Mutch was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in literary journals across Canada and the United States. Mutch lives (and writes and runs) in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons. KNOW THE NIGHT is her first book.
You can read more about Maria Mutch and her writing by visiting her website: www.mariamutch.com and finding Maria on GoodReads. Social media fans can follow @Maria_Mutch on Twitter and friend Maria Mutch on Facebook.
BOOKALICIOUS TWITTER BOOK CLUB
#KnowTheNight RT Contest – Friday, March 7th
#KnowTheNight Chat – Wednesday, April 2nd
I am thrilled to announce that Bookalicious Twitter Book Club members and friends can participate in a Twitter chat to talk with Maria Mutch about her novel KNOW THE NIGHT! You can join the chat by following the hashtag #KnowTheNight and tweets from host @BookaliciousCA and author @Maria_Mutch on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 from 9:00 - 10:00 pm ET. But wait, there’s more good news! Twenty lucky Bookalicious Twitter Book Club members will each receive a free copy of KNOW THE NIGHT and join our #KnowTheNight chat with special guest author @Maria_Mutch! To enter the draw for a copy of KNOW THE NIGHT you must be a Bookalicious member to participate. Sign up here to join the Bookalicious Twitter Book Club. To be eligible for a free copy of KNOW THE NIGHT you need to leave a comment below with your Twitter @handle and RT a @BookaliciousCA #KnowTheNight contest tweet on Friday, March 7th until 11:59 pm ET. Mark the #KnowTheNight chat date April 2nd in your calendar and I will tweet you then!
BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY
Three lucky Bookalicious reader will win Maria Mutch’s memoir KNOW THE NIGHT courtesy of Random House of Canada! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Click Here To Spill It" bubble below. You have until April 7th, 2014 to enter the BBGG. You must be a YMC member, and please be sure you've registered your email address in our commenting system so we can contact you if you win.
Yummy Rules and Regulations
You must be a YummyMummyClub.ca member to win. Click here to sign up. It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until April 7th, 2014. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Winners will be picked using www.random.org. See full contest rules.
To read more about KNOW THE NIGHT and other great books visit RandomHouseCanada.ca, RetreatByRandomHouse.ca, and CraveByRandomHouse.ca. Social media fans can follow the bookish tweets with @RandomHouseCA on Twitter and find bookworm fun with Random House of Canada on Facebook.
Author photo credit: Robin Wilson
If you enjoyed this article check out the memoir THE SPARK by Kristine Barnett.
To read more about World Autism Day and books on autism, aspergers and ASD, check out this article.