LEIGH FORBES: Books of all Sorts

The Road to California


by Louise Walters.

As someone who is #actuallyautistic (and has an autistic teenage son), I found Ryan 100% authentic and convincing, and loved how autism was depicted from inside the experience rather than with the veneer of people with second-hand knowledge (e.g. those who work with autistic people, or know someone who’s autistic, or whatever). The characterisation is also compassionate (we’re usually either The Pain in the Arse character, the Creepy Weirdo, or the Comedic Fall Guy), so it’s refreshing to find such a sympathetic portrayal.

The other themes covered by this story were also powerfully written: loss, grief, single-parenthood, even the boat-ride to Loch Coruisk (which I’ve been on), all completely relatable.

Note: I subsequently worked with this author on a number of different titles. I had already, read and reviewed this book before I met her.


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