Every family has its issues.
For Maddy, life is all about routine. It has to be, to keep her autistic sister happy and healthy. With just Maddy and her mother as Bee’s full time carers, there’s no time in Maddy’s life for complications like friends, let alone a boyfriend.
So when Bee joins a new Riding for the Disabled stable and they meet Albert, the last thing on Maddy’s mind is falling in love.
Some things, she’s about to learn, are outside of our control.
Albert has resigned himself to always being a disappointment to his strict father. When he meets Maddy, he gets a glimpse of what being part of a family can be like, and of the tremendous sacrifices that people will make for the ones that they love.
Differently Normal is a spellbinding story of love that will leave you breathless.
What does TWG think?
Author (whose success rate of making her readers cry is even higher than an episode of Greys Anatomy), Tammy Robinson, is back with yet another ‘totes emosh’ read. Whether you either finish reading her brand new novel and end up sobbing like a baby, or finish reading it with bone dry eyes, one thing is for certain; Differently Normal will reach out and steal your heart (obviously not literally, but you catch my drift).
For as long as Maddy can remember, day to day life has been governed by routine, and routine early. Even if the routine were to change through no fault of anyone’s, Maddy and her family would have to suffer the consequences and fix the situation before it escalated. Why? Well, Maddy’s life isn’t a case of ‘get up and get on with it’ as that is just an impossible request for her and her sister, Bee. Again, why? Bee has autism and life for her personally, has its own set of challenges. That’s even before you included the big, wide world’s challenges! Maddy would do absolutely ANYTHING for her sister and pretty much NOTHING for herself. If she were to be asked out her first answer would be ‘no’. If Maddy were to go out on her own or do something just for herself, she wouldn’t as she would worry about her sister. How unbelievably selfless.
I adored Bee; she was such a wonderful character to read about, so full of life and….herself. I honestly don’t think that I have enough words to explain how Maddy’s persona caught me, she truly is an outstanding person. If the world had more people like Maddy it would be a million times better. Fact.
As the storyline progressed, we saw Maddy loosen the ties on her life and live (to a point), thanks to a gentleman named, Albert. I found it quite troubling to read about his life as it was so raw yet incredibly common, which is such a shame. People’s lives shouldn’t be like that.
At times I wondered where my tears were, I couldn’t work out why my face was still dry and tears weren’t streaming down my face like a waterfall. But then it hit me. Tammy’s Robinson’s novels don’t HAVE to make you cry, they just INTEND to make you reach deep within your heart; and feel. Just….feel. The storyline moved me in a way I can’t even begin to describe, but, most importantly, it made me stop and think about the true meaning of what I was actually reading. Autism isn’t just a made up condition that is fixed by a couple of placebo’s and a hot toddy. No, it’s real life! It affects REAL LIFE people and their families. I couldn’t cry because if I did it would be like I was feeling sorry for Bee, or feeling sad for Maddy. But I didn’t, and I don’t. Why would you feel sorry for someone who knows no different? Why would you feel sad for a girl who was doing right by her sister?
So no, there was no sadness in my eyes from their situation, just copious amounts of admiration for their family. As for Albert’s situation, maybe I should have cried there too but I became numb. Differently Normal took me by surprise and had me feeling different things which I don’t often feel the need express; until now. I am in awe at the storyline, especially the strength of each individual family that finds themselves in a similar predicament as Maddy, and Bee. I am in awe at the authors deliverance of such a complex, real, and extremely unpredictable storyline; it certainly made me open my eyes.
Differently Normal is a storyline that will catch you unaware and will no doubt have you feeling emotions that are usually hidden under lock and key, waiting for the right moment to make themselves known.
A truly inspiring story which showcases just how misunderstood, yet beautifully challenging, autism can be.
mesmerisng, heart warming and a beautiful read from the author of real emotion, Tammy Robinson.
Thank you TBC Review.