David Finch and his wife Kristen find themselves at an impasse after five years of marriage. He is not the man that she married, probably because he has a special gift for playing other people or “characters”. Luckily Kristen has a hunch – he has Asperger Syndrome – and therein lies the rub. This is why they have trouble communicating, why they’ve lost touch: Finch’s innate lack of empathy. So what’s the solution? Well, Finch’s love for his wife makes him want to be a better man, and while he goes about that process in a way that is a bit clinical, his aim is true.
The book was the perfect combination of hilarious and heartfelt. Finch has a way of detailing his compulsions that makes them hard to criticize because you’re laughing so hard. Make no mistake, I also cringed, but only before I burst out laughing again. It was immensely entertaining, although there was one point where I put the book down and didn’t pick it back up for weeks. Usually that means that I’m done, but when I picked it back up I was right back to being immensely entertained. One issue that I found with the book was Kristen’s lack of acknowledgement of her role in the crumbling of their marriage, or what I felt was her lack of acknowledgement. She says all of the right things in every situation, she talks about them each taking responsibility for their actions, and how they should be more communicative, but he really does all of the heavy lifting. And I guess that’s the point of the book? It’s his journey, after all.
This book was of special interest to me as my husband also had a late in life Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. I wasn’t expecting to understand my husband more by way of reading this book or to receive some sort of epiphany; I simply wanted to see certain aspects of our relationship reflected back at me, and that was extremely satisfying.