Samantha and her boyfriend have plans, but when their job offers and her positive pregnancy test collide, Jonathan leaves. She turns out to be much stronger than you’d think, and manages not only to land her dream position with the New York Times, but also to grow from the experiences, and to become a dedicated mother. What makes this tale special? Her son, Jaime, is diagnosed with autism. The reader sees things from the mother’s perspective, learning what autism means, how hard but also rewarding it can be to live with such a special child, and how different life like this is. I loved reading about what upsets Jaime’s calm, what keeps him grounded, about his likes and dislikes that are sometimes startlingly similar to ours and sometimes seem so contrary to what you’d expect. Sometimes, we’re inside Jaime’s head, which is a great idea to make us realize how the world works for him.
Make no mistake, "Unspoken Dreams" isn’t only a story about a single mom and her autistic son, it is also a nice love story with a huge mix of emotions. When Samantha and her son return home in a visit in time to welcome her sister’s first baby, things really start to get complicated. She meets Jonathan again after all these years, and both of them experience a range of emotions, slowly getting closer while Samantha keeps up her guard. It’s very credible and authentic, and adds some sparks to the book. Alisha Guenzel makes the reader live through each scene as if involved in it, and grow along with the characters. I like how the protagonists have changed over the course of their lives, and how much effort Jonathan makes to get to know his son and become a part of the family.
The language and style used were new to me, somehow colloquial and probably typically American. It took some getting used to, but it fits the theme of the novel well, and it’s easy to read.
If you enjoy contemporary romance with emotional depth, if you want to learn about autism the interesting way, and if you believe in second chances, you’ll enjoy this book.