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A Normal Family cover art

A Normal Family

By: Henry Normal,Angela Pell
Narrated by: Henry Normal,Angela Pell
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Summary

Johnny is 19. He likes music, art and going to the beach. He is also autistic - in his case that means he will probably never get a job, never have a girlfriend, never leave home. And over the last 19 years this is what his father, TV producer and comedy writer Henry Normal and his wife Angela have been trying to come to terms with. 

This is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by autism - it's about the hope, the despair, and the messy, honest sometimes comical day-to-day world of autism, as well as a wonderful, warm book about the unconditional, unconventional love between a father, a mother and a son.

©2018 Henry Normal (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"A wonderful self-portrait of a family with autism at its heart. Uplifting and grounded, frank and encouraging, serious and funny, A Normal Family affirms that there is life after an ASD diagnosis - an atypical life, yes, but an abundant and nourishing life just the same." (David Mitchell, author of The Reason I Jump)

"The book is about how [Henry] grieved for the life that Johnny isn't able to have - and learnt to celebrate the one that he does." (Times

"A stunning read that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved." (Brighton Post

What listeners say about A Normal Family

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Brilliant

Poignant, thought provoking, funny, emotional, intelligent, full of hope and joy

In short - brilliant! Henry, Angela and Johnny are wonderful human beings.

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1 person found this helpful

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A powerful mix of elation and sadness providing a raw insight into the world or autism.

I have been a fan of Henry for a while and have enjoyed watching him perform his poetry and stand-up. His very personal style and stories of Johnny, leaving me eager to hear more.

The honesty is refreshing, although I have no idea how anyone can cope with an autistic child, believing only that we find strength we had no idea we possessed.

I thoroughly recommend this.

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Wonderful book

I have just completed this audiobook and have to say it is my favourite one to date. Henry and Angela shine a light on life living with Johnny, their autistic son, and many of their struggles and accomplishments so far. They do this with love and a level of compassion and humanity that you won’t find in any textbooks.
As a father of a child with additional needs I found it incredibly inspiring and it brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.
I would recommend it to anyone involved with Autism, indeed anyone with a special needs child- however far along the journey you are- or, just as importantly, anyone who wants to have a better understanding of people, and how we are not all the same.

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A book for every adult working or parenting a you g person with additional needs.

Henry and Angela discuss the joys and challenges of parenting their beautiful autistic son. They do this with an open honesty and positivity which at no time discounts the struggles that they go through both emotionally and physically. They express their darkest days and feelings and the journey that has taken them to acceptance that without his autism Johnny would not be the incredible young man he is today.

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Wise and wonderful

I am grateful to Angela and Henry for being so honest and brave as to share their life experiences. It was very special to have them both narrating. My most favourite parts were Angela’s wise words about choosing how to feel about the most difficult situations and the distilled love of Henry’s poems. What an amazing family.

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A Normal Family is an abnormally brilliant listen.

Tender, thoughtful, funny and stuffed full with love and kindness. Quietly inspiring and worthwhile.

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Ok apart from the poems

As the mum of a 4yr old with similarly “severe” autism, some of the anecdotes were similar to things that have happened with our son or they reminded me of him and that made me laugh out loud.

The poems weren’t for me, I found them cringeworthy and self indulgent, although I appreciate poetry is a very individual thing.

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Funny, heartfelt, real and genuine. Loved it!

Loved it. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me hold my breath. Some of the poems are striking. My son too, is handsome. x

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Wow

I haven't even finished this and it speaks to me as a mum of an autistic child. I recommend weather you know someone with autism or not because you will either nod along going yep I know that one or you may understand families better.

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