24 October, 2020

Adversity, Who?

A brave theme for a book: a mother's account of bringing up a child with Down's Syndrome

Adversity, Who?
It’s a brave theme for a book: a mother’s account of bringing up a child with Down’s Syndrome, unlikely to appeal to those outside the realm of special needs. Wider readership for such determinedly first-person narratives comes only if the writer either has an extraordinary story to tell or, failing that, the ability to tell an ordinary story extraordinarily well.

For readers within the realm, Satyanarayana’s candid account offers many recognisable moments: the seeming callousness of some medical and educational professionals, the secondary status of ‘normal’ siblings, an imaginative and compassionate teacher’s unexpected heroism, the often painful reassessment of relationships with friends and family.

Satyanarayana, a senior-level bureaucrat who admirably juggled a demanding career alongside the care of her son Chaitanya, tells her story earnestly and with deserved pride. But I found myself searching for more glimpses of humour. Without it, a blow-by-blow account of what was undoubtedly an eventually fulfilling journey...



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