Schtum has been described as a “darker, sadder version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time“. Written by Jem Lester, who has a son severely affected by autism, Schtum explores the highs and lows experienced by families with autistic children: it is a story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days.
Ben Jewell has hit breaking point.
His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.
As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths.
Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.
We’re really looking forward to reading Schtum, especially after reading that a large part of the plot revolves around navigating the labyrinthine “special educational needs” system in order to secure support for Jonah. We’ll write up our review for you soon.