REVIEW: “A Slant of Sun: One Child’s Courage” by Beth Kephart
A Slant of Sun: One Child’s Courage
W.W. Norton & Co. , 1998
CHALLENGE(S): Beth Kephart Challenge
Finished 25 Jun 2010
Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve posted a review. Sorry about that! I guess I’ve been a bit busy, as I haven’t finished many books lately either.
I chose A Slant of Sun as the final book for the Beth Kephart Challenge for the most arbitrary of reasons: it was the only other book of hers that our library currently possessed. I was hesitant to read it at first. Memoirs, like most non-fiction, do not tend to hold my attention with any kind of reliability, and as I expected it actually took me over a month to finish. However, once I got stuck in, the book surprised me.
A Slant of Sun is the story, as the title indicates, of a child: specifically, Beth Kephart’s son, Jeremy, a wonderful little boy who is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDDNOS) at a very young age. What this means for his parents is what Kephart attempts to show us throughout her book. Special schools; obsessions; social phobias; language disorders; lack of interaction or interest. It is extraordinarily difficult and heartbreaking, and the way Kephart tells the story is both honest and elegantly written. Her love of and commitment to her son is obvious from the very first page and sustains what might otherwise be a painful and distressing narrative.
While I can’t say that I loved the book or even really engaged with it to a great degree, this was not for any real fault on the writer’s part. I was impressed both by Kephart’s honesty and with Jeremy, who by all accounts was an amazing child in spite of his differences. This is one memoir I can happily recommend to others and feel enriched for having read.