Hot Best Seller

The Art of Adapting

Availability: Ready to download

In this warm and winning first novel, a recently divorced woman rises to the challenge and experiences the exhilaration of independence with the unlikely help of her brother with Asperger's, who she takes in to help pay the rent. Seven months after her husband leaves her, Lana is still reeling. Being single means she is in charge of every part of her life, and for the first In this warm and winning first novel, a recently divorced woman rises to the challenge and experiences the exhilaration of independence with the unlikely help of her brother with Asperger's, who she takes in to help pay the rent. Seven months after her husband leaves her, Lana is still reeling. Being single means she is in charge of every part of her life, and for the first time in nineteen years, she can do things the way she always wanted to do them. But that also leaves her with all the responsibility. With two teenage children, Byron and Abby, who are each dealing with their own struggles, in a house she can barely afford on her solo salary, her new life is a balancing act made even more complicated when her brother Matt moves in. Matt has Asperger's syndrome, which makes social situations difficult for him and flexibility and change nearly impossible. He only eats certain foods in a certain order and fixates on minor details. When Lana took him in, he was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to numb his active mind enough to sleep at night. Adding Matt's regimented routine to her already disrupted household seems like the last thing Lana needs, but her brother's unique attention to detail makes him an invaluable addition to the family: he sees things differently. Complex, smart, and genuinely moving, The Art of Adapting is a feel-good story that celebrates the small moments and small changes that make one big life.


Compare

In this warm and winning first novel, a recently divorced woman rises to the challenge and experiences the exhilaration of independence with the unlikely help of her brother with Asperger's, who she takes in to help pay the rent. Seven months after her husband leaves her, Lana is still reeling. Being single means she is in charge of every part of her life, and for the first In this warm and winning first novel, a recently divorced woman rises to the challenge and experiences the exhilaration of independence with the unlikely help of her brother with Asperger's, who she takes in to help pay the rent. Seven months after her husband leaves her, Lana is still reeling. Being single means she is in charge of every part of her life, and for the first time in nineteen years, she can do things the way she always wanted to do them. But that also leaves her with all the responsibility. With two teenage children, Byron and Abby, who are each dealing with their own struggles, in a house she can barely afford on her solo salary, her new life is a balancing act made even more complicated when her brother Matt moves in. Matt has Asperger's syndrome, which makes social situations difficult for him and flexibility and change nearly impossible. He only eats certain foods in a certain order and fixates on minor details. When Lana took him in, he was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to numb his active mind enough to sleep at night. Adding Matt's regimented routine to her already disrupted household seems like the last thing Lana needs, but her brother's unique attention to detail makes him an invaluable addition to the family: he sees things differently. Complex, smart, and genuinely moving, The Art of Adapting is a feel-good story that celebrates the small moments and small changes that make one big life.

30 review for The Art of Adapting

  1. 4 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    I picked this up on impulse at the library last night and once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The story ostensibly revolves around Lana, a woman whose husband has left her with two teenage children, but the real star is Matt, Lana’s brother who has Asperger’s. It is through his observations and interactions that the story really comes to life and evolves. Matt, through his own “too fast moving mind”, is able to piece together clues and avert disasters and forge stronger family bonds. The wh I picked this up on impulse at the library last night and once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The story ostensibly revolves around Lana, a woman whose husband has left her with two teenage children, but the real star is Matt, Lana’s brother who has Asperger’s. It is through his observations and interactions that the story really comes to life and evolves. Matt, through his own “too fast moving mind”, is able to piece together clues and avert disasters and forge stronger family bonds. The whole story is charming, but still believable and the characters are well drawn and interesting. I really enjoyed “meeting” the whole family and watching them overcome their hurdles. This novel comes across as much more polished and complex than the average debut women’s fiction. I very much enjoyed it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This well written family drama is definitely a feel good kind of book. There are four main characters, and each of their stories is told in alternating chapters. There's Lana, who is recently divorced and trying to regain her footing. Matt, her autistic brother who has moved in with Lana and has a unique perception on the world. Abby, a young teen who has a bad eating disorder. And Byron, who is girl crazy and trying to figure out what his place in the world is. Each character has a distinct voi This well written family drama is definitely a feel good kind of book. There are four main characters, and each of their stories is told in alternating chapters. There's Lana, who is recently divorced and trying to regain her footing. Matt, her autistic brother who has moved in with Lana and has a unique perception on the world. Abby, a young teen who has a bad eating disorder. And Byron, who is girl crazy and trying to figure out what his place in the world is. Each character has a distinct voice, and the book moves fluidly through each of their chapters and stories, keeping the reader engaged and looking forward to seeing how they progress through their stories and problems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I got a free copy of this from work. A free copy does not a good review make. I was sorting through the pile of ARCs at work and this grabbed me right away - Asperger's? I'm there. And I was not disappointed, either. There's no Rain Man feel about Matt, Lana's brother. Lana is the crux of the story, trying to hold her family together and her body together and manager the way through her husband's exit from the family. I like that each chapter was from a rotating point of view - Abby (the teen dau I got a free copy of this from work. A free copy does not a good review make. I was sorting through the pile of ARCs at work and this grabbed me right away - Asperger's? I'm there. And I was not disappointed, either. There's no Rain Man feel about Matt, Lana's brother. Lana is the crux of the story, trying to hold her family together and her body together and manager the way through her husband's exit from the family. I like that each chapter was from a rotating point of view - Abby (the teen daughter), Byron (the teen son), Matt, and Lana. The way Cassandra Dunn portrayed Matt's Asperger's symptoms was (I feel) spot on. All the rules, no touching, and order to so many little things that we find annoying (sometimes) but are utterly necessary. I also liked the way he wasn't completely unfunny, and he wasn't ineffective, needing to be taken care of the whole time. It seemed like all of Abby and Byron's friends' families have divorced, and maybe that statistic is higher in younger couples who would have teenaged kids. It seemed a little much, but it worked. I can't help but think of Buffy when I see a not-so-reputable character named Spike, but I'm sure the mental image is a whole lot worse than mine. I like that not everyone's problems were laid out at the beginning, and then are solved by the end, although (no spoilers) most everyone comes out okay. Even... well, never mind. There were a couple loose ties that didn't get resolved - what did Byron do to the bully? What information did he gather on her? It seems like characters faded out when they were no longer in need, but they also were not included with the last-chapter-roundup (which is good). This is a promising first major publication, and congrats to Cassandra for making this a finish-in-one-sitting read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lemus

    Not really my style. The first few chapters were promising, and kept me going to the end hoping to recapture that desire to read more. The main issue I had with this book is that there didn't seem to be much conflict. Divorce, check. Eating disorder, check. Girl problems, check. Mental Illness, check. But somehow the book just skated over these issues like they were nothing, and things were very easily resolved. I wasn't blown away, hoping that any future books will have a little more oompth. Not really my style. The first few chapters were promising, and kept me going to the end hoping to recapture that desire to read more. The main issue I had with this book is that there didn't seem to be much conflict. Divorce, check. Eating disorder, check. Girl problems, check. Mental Illness, check. But somehow the book just skated over these issues like they were nothing, and things were very easily resolved. I wasn't blown away, hoping that any future books will have a little more oompth.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies

    Why do I keep trying to read books like I insist to myself that this time I will like it?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Story Circle Book Reviews

    I did not want this grand book to end. I was so caught up in the lives of the characters that it was as if I had known them forever. Cassandra Dunn's first novel is set in California and tells the story of a woman newly separated from her husband, her two teen-aged children and her brother who has Asperger's. The book is told in alternating chapters, each devoted to the point of view of one of these four family members and, as it progresses, you really get to know, sympathize, and root for them a I did not want this grand book to end. I was so caught up in the lives of the characters that it was as if I had known them forever. Cassandra Dunn's first novel is set in California and tells the story of a woman newly separated from her husband, her two teen-aged children and her brother who has Asperger's. The book is told in alternating chapters, each devoted to the point of view of one of these four family members and, as it progresses, you really get to know, sympathize, and root for them all. There's Lana who works as a substitute teacher in the elementary schools, Byron, sixteen and Abby, fourteen and Lana's brother Matt. Each section is fleshed out enough so it does not appear episodic—just a smoothly written transition from one to the other. Byron is caught up in physical activities and, although quite proficient, has set his heart on a career in art. We also see him embarking on his first relationship with a girl. Abby, smart and athletic, is suffering from anorexia, and some of the most poignant sections of the book involve her condition, from its inception until help is found, and we see her grow emotionally as a result. Matt lives with the family after having had episodes of drinking and drug-taking and, in the author's extremely sensitive portrayal, we are able to understand the feelings of the sufferer of this disease. Indeed, in the acknowledgments section, Dunn mentions her uncle who had had Asperger's. Cassandra Dunn's ability to get to the heart of each person is surprising, as this is her first novel. She especially knows adolescents and, in her portrayal of high school life, with its various social strata—the smart ones, the jocks, the mocking girls—she demonstrates that she knows that most difficult time of life. Matt's extraordinary talents and interests are also explored, from his inability to be touched to his meticulously kept records of things as disparate as the number of birds on the trees, the number of times a particular dog has been walked in front of his window and, in the most moving sections, how he tries to help Abby by noting each morsel she eats, how she breathes and how often she laughs. All of this is interspersed with Lana's attempts to adjust to the single life and, toward the end of the book, her efforts to let herself relax and get to know a man vastly different from her husband. I heartily recommend this most rewarding, lovely book. by Helene Benardo for Story Circle Book Reviews reviewing books by, for, and about women

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janel

    A very sweet story that had a lot of heart. There were 4 main characters: Lana, a recent divorcee in her mid 40's, her teenage son Byron trying to figure out who he is, her teenage daughter Abby who has developed an eating disorder and her brother Matt who recently moved in with them, and also has Asperger's. The chapters were equally divided into each persons point of view which I really enjoyed. I liked the beginning of the book more than the middle and end....maybe there was a promising feeli A very sweet story that had a lot of heart. There were 4 main characters: Lana, a recent divorcee in her mid 40's, her teenage son Byron trying to figure out who he is, her teenage daughter Abby who has developed an eating disorder and her brother Matt who recently moved in with them, and also has Asperger's. The chapters were equally divided into each persons point of view which I really enjoyed. I liked the beginning of the book more than the middle and end....maybe there was a promising feeling of something to come that never quite got there. There wasn't a high excitement, or climactic arc to the story, but it remained pretty even with each person facing their problems and challenges and growing and handling them. I especially liked reading Matt's point of view and his unspoiled and sometimes blunt perspective of life and of the others in the house. Abby's story was not my favorite, and although I thought she was a sweet girl, there were things about her that bugged me.....talk about self obsessed! Some things, in the book like the dialog and situations were a little too perfect and didn't quite ring true for me, but all in all it was a pretty good read! I'm happy I found this book and think most people will enjoy delving into the lives of these characters bravely facing life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fantastic book. I love a book from which there is a lot to learn. Reading this book taught me so much about Aspberger's, autism, anorexia, parkour, and the beautiful Hungarian Vizsla (dog). This book was about, as the title states, adapting to major changes in life. In this case, Lana is adjusting to being a single mother after her husband leaves her with their two teenage children. The story, however, is not exclusively about Lana and that's what I enjoyed most. We learn what it's like to cope Fantastic book. I love a book from which there is a lot to learn. Reading this book taught me so much about Aspberger's, autism, anorexia, parkour, and the beautiful Hungarian Vizsla (dog). This book was about, as the title states, adapting to major changes in life. In this case, Lana is adjusting to being a single mother after her husband leaves her with their two teenage children. The story, however, is not exclusively about Lana and that's what I enjoyed most. We learn what it's like to cope as a teenager with issues like dating, bullying, self-esteem and even Parkour (freestyle running). Lana's brother, Matt, moves in with Lana as he is recovering from an accidental drug overdose that almost claims his life. Matt has Aspberger's and has difficulty with emotional responses. He is my favorite character in the book because above the fact that he has Aspberger's he seems to be the center that holds everyone together in this story. His rational thinking and his discipline is what puts perspective in all of the other characters' attempt to adapt. Fantastic read. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jael

    For the past two weeks my commute to work has been flying by. I normally take a nap on the way to work, and read on the way home from work. But recently I have given up my morning naps. Why? Because I was so engrossed in The Art of Adapting by Cassandra Dunn. I'm a sucker for family dramas. The family in this book certainly has its issues. Lana is recently separated from her husband, Graham. She's left to raise her teenage children, Byron and Abby. Her money is dwindling. On top of all that, she h For the past two weeks my commute to work has been flying by. I normally take a nap on the way to work, and read on the way home from work. But recently I have given up my morning naps. Why? Because I was so engrossed in The Art of Adapting by Cassandra Dunn. I'm a sucker for family dramas. The family in this book certainly has its issues. Lana is recently separated from her husband, Graham. She's left to raise her teenage children, Byron and Abby. Her money is dwindling. On top of all that, she has to keep an eye on her eccentric brother Matt, who has Asperger's. A renewed friendship with a former boyfriend has Lana thinking about dating again. Lana's perspective wasn't anything new, but it was enjoyable to read. She's wondering what she did or didn't do to save her marriage. When will life get better? Read the rest of my review at: http://asiturnthepages.blogspot.com/2...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Brill

    Somewhere between a 3 and 4 for me. Good story and writing, just took me a while to connect with the characters. That often happens for me when POV varies by chapter--I prefer stories told from one character's POV. With multiple POV's, it takes a while to get to know each character. The exception is that I felt I knew Matt, a character with Asperger's syndrome, almost immediately. The specific details, cadence and tone of his thoughts so often felt spot on. Bravo. By mid-point, I knew and cared Somewhere between a 3 and 4 for me. Good story and writing, just took me a while to connect with the characters. That often happens for me when POV varies by chapter--I prefer stories told from one character's POV. With multiple POV's, it takes a while to get to know each character. The exception is that I felt I knew Matt, a character with Asperger's syndrome, almost immediately. The specific details, cadence and tone of his thoughts so often felt spot on. Bravo. By mid-point, I knew and cared about the other characters, and for me the story paced picked up and kept me engaged.

  11. 4 out of 5

    brettlikesbooks

    a family in various states of crisis learning to take care of each other + sweet & sincere ••• "Lana stared at him for a long time. Then she smiled. 'You just sit there quietly observing and taking notes and we all think you're in your own world. But then you say something like that and I realize you're in our world, and you see it clearer than any of us.'" instagram book reviews @brettlikesbooks a family in various states of crisis learning to take care of each other + sweet & sincere ••• "Lana stared at him for a long time. Then she smiled. 'You just sit there quietly observing and taking notes and we all think you're in your own world. But then you say something like that and I realize you're in our world, and you see it clearer than any of us.'" instagram book reviews @brettlikesbooks

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Renzy

    Enjoyable read. Recommend for sure!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mkb

    This is not the sort of novel I am usually drawn towards (family drama) but I enjoyed it. It was gentle and sweet. I wonder if when I picked it off the shelf I was thinking of Katherine Dunn (who wrote Geek Love which is an entirely different kettle of fish). It’s funny that I just tried to read a novel about a struggling mom, Come with Me, and could not bear to finish it. I think the difference is in the tone—this one is much kinder.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This was one of the best novels I've read in a while. The story is told from the points of view of four of the main characters, all members of the same family, who are struggling with varied personal issues. As the book begins, they are all living together, a mother, her two teenaged children, and the mother's adult younger brother, who has Asperger's syndrome. As each family member works to resolve their own issues, they learn to open up to one another for support, and eventually they begin to This was one of the best novels I've read in a while. The story is told from the points of view of four of the main characters, all members of the same family, who are struggling with varied personal issues. As the book begins, they are all living together, a mother, her two teenaged children, and the mother's adult younger brother, who has Asperger's syndrome. As each family member works to resolve their own issues, they learn to open up to one another for support, and eventually they begin to heal. Cassandra Dunn does a wonderful job of telling this story. Early on, each chapter, as told from that character's viewpoint, seems to have a very different voice. For example, the language used in the teens' chapters really sounds as though a teen is writing it. The angst, drama, and issues raised are those which concern teens. But as the characters begin to depend on and trust one another, rebuilding family bonds, they take on the traits of the other family members as well, and by the end of the book, they are working together amicably and the language used in each characters "chapter" sounds more alike. There are some parts of the book which seem rather formulated, such as the way Dunn ends most of her chapters with a sentence that neatly sums things up. She also uses circular endings, referring to something at the end of the story which was touched on at the beginning. When I work with young writers, it is something we encourage them to try doing, but I don't recall when I've recognized it so clearly in a published author's work. If I were working with older children, I'd suggest this novel as a mentor text for the idea. Dunn beautifully develops each of her characters. Her research must have been extensive, as she vividly portrays the internal thinking of each character in a candid, honest way. At first, I thought her characterization of Matt seemed more like that of someone with OCD rather than Asperger's, but I'm guessing that the two conditions just have some similar symptoms. Dunn's compassion for Matt is most shown in his relationship with his sister, but Matt's brilliance and compassion for others is shown in his relationship with Abby, his niece. "The Art of Adapting" is a heart-stealing, beautiful tale.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ray

    This was truly a wonderful book and a gem of a novel. Lana is newly divorced with two teenage children- son Byron and daughter Abby. She recently moved in her brother, Matt, who has Asperger's, because he was getting into trouble with drugs. This is a family in transition. Each family member is dealing with their own issues. Lana struggles to find her voice and strength after divorcing a controlling husband. Abby is struggling with body image and an eating disorder. Byron has many passions and d This was truly a wonderful book and a gem of a novel. Lana is newly divorced with two teenage children- son Byron and daughter Abby. She recently moved in her brother, Matt, who has Asperger's, because he was getting into trouble with drugs. This is a family in transition. Each family member is dealing with their own issues. Lana struggles to find her voice and strength after divorcing a controlling husband. Abby is struggling with body image and an eating disorder. Byron has many passions and doesn't know what to pursue. Matt is overcoming addiction as well as the challenges of Asperger's. The book alternates between each of these characters' points of view. I loved getting inside each of their heads, but also seeing how the characters viewed each other through this writing style. Dunn's writing style is very engaging with the right mix of description, dialogue, inner talk, etc. An amazing feat for her first full-length novel! I loved each of the main characters. All flawed, all unique, and all growing for the better as the book progressed. You come to love and empathize with each one of them. I thought the portrayal of Matt's Asperger's was extremely well done and accurate (from what I know of it). Although his "voice" was more methodological, he came through as someone who cares deeply for his family members. I loved how he helped out each family member in his own unique way. This book was also different because there wasn't one main plot with a specific climax. It was a "slice of life" style book, showing a family during one period of their life. I actually enjoy books like this. I loved getting a glimpse into this family. I never would have known about this novel were it not for Cassandra Dunn doing a book dining near me. It was wonderful to meet her and after getting a signed copy, I'm so glad it ended up being a book I really enjoyed. These characters will stay with me long after I closed the last page. It's hard to believe this is her first novel because it's extremely well-crafted. I am so eager to read her future works!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Cassandra Dunn’s The Art of Adapting is one of those books that has one expecting a happy ending from the beginning. A middle-aged woman recently abandoned by her husband, her brother with Asperger’s syndrome, her son looking for a social niche, and her daughter with an eating disorder—yes, I suppose a writer could make a tragedy out of those elements, but that would be cruel. With characters who come so close ourselves (and these characters do) we need hope, need a sense of how an individual ma Cassandra Dunn’s The Art of Adapting is one of those books that has one expecting a happy ending from the beginning. A middle-aged woman recently abandoned by her husband, her brother with Asperger’s syndrome, her son looking for a social niche, and her daughter with an eating disorder—yes, I suppose a writer could make a tragedy out of those elements, but that would be cruel. With characters who come so close ourselves (and these characters do) we need hope, need a sense of how an individual makes the best of her own imperfections and learns to use them to her advantage. In The Art of Adapting this process of turning imperfections into advantages plays out not just for the characters individually, but also for the four of them as a family. Their collective imperfections ultimately make for a (surprisingly) functional group. I don’t really want to say more about this book because with its straightforward plot line, I could too easily give all the best moments away. Suffice it to say, this is a book that will leave the reader feeling good about herself and the characters. The real-life reader may not have the elements of her life fall together as neatly as the characters’. But the characters’ happiness comes across as genuine and within the reach of the reader. For readers who need an infusion of hope and for those who simply want to spend a few evenings with people trying their best and making progress, this book will be a genuine pleasure.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John (JP)

    Art of Adapting, Cassandra Dunn This is a year in the life of a divorced woman her children a son and a daughter and her brother who has autism. There is nothing over the top dramatic that happens. I am recommending the book on the strength of the writer’s story telling ability. The title “The Art of Adapting “ comes from the characters need to adapt to their new living situations. Lana the mother begins to cope with her change in status from protected spouse to single mother and her brother’s ca Art of Adapting, Cassandra Dunn This is a year in the life of a divorced woman her children a son and a daughter and her brother who has autism. There is nothing over the top dramatic that happens. I am recommending the book on the strength of the writer’s story telling ability. The title “The Art of Adapting “ comes from the characters need to adapt to their new living situations. Lana the mother begins to cope with her change in status from protected spouse to single mother and her brother’s caretaker and her children’s chief advocate. Matt Lana’s brother has asperger’s syndrome and a drug problem. Matt has a particular obsession with details. Over the course of the year changes from being a liability in the family to an asset . The point of the tale seems to be that life and change seldom occurs in the big dramatic moments of life. Change comes from minor corrections or adaptations to lives circumstances. The story does tackle big issues such as eating disorders, father son conflicts, asperger’s syndrome, drug abuse, and restarting a life after a divorce. Adventure in the story comes from watching how the writer sees her characters dealing with and adapting to the various circumstances.

  18. 5 out of 5

    R J Mckay

    I received this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review. Lana, Abby and Byron, her teenage children, and Matt, her brother, are all living under one roof. They are all struggling to overcome a major roadblock that has been placed in front of them. Lana is trying to find a way to move forward after separating from her husband. Matt, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is trying to overcome his pill and alcohol dependence, a result of his self-medicating. Abby, is trying to deal with the new family d I received this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review. Lana, Abby and Byron, her teenage children, and Matt, her brother, are all living under one roof. They are all struggling to overcome a major roadblock that has been placed in front of them. Lana is trying to find a way to move forward after separating from her husband. Matt, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is trying to overcome his pill and alcohol dependence, a result of his self-medicating. Abby, is trying to deal with the new family dynamic through an eating disorder: bulimia. Byron is realizing the life-path his father is pushing him toward is not the one that will make him happy. This book is alternately told from the perspective of all four main characters. The reader learns to understand their struggles and their coping mechanisms. ‘The Art of Adapting’ it the story of endings and beginnings, of dealing with what life throws at you. The author summed up the whole book in the a few words when Lana was talking to Abbot. She told Abbot her goal was: “Forgive myself when I falter. Keep my heart open. Trust my judgment. Accept others. Love myself.” [page 283]

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Lana is separated from her husband, which gives her freedom--freedom to make mistakes with her autistic brother, and teenage children Byron and Abby. Struggling with her finances, and new choices, it's hard for Lana to catch all the struggles that beset her little family. Matt seems like the difficult one, set on an inflexible schedule, unable to face change--but the teens aren't coping too well with the split. In the end, Matt's differences help Lana and the others see their situation in a diff Lana is separated from her husband, which gives her freedom--freedom to make mistakes with her autistic brother, and teenage children Byron and Abby. Struggling with her finances, and new choices, it's hard for Lana to catch all the struggles that beset her little family. Matt seems like the difficult one, set on an inflexible schedule, unable to face change--but the teens aren't coping too well with the split. In the end, Matt's differences help Lana and the others see their situation in a different light--and perhaps might be the change that saves them. A story that balances humor and little moments of joy with serious issues--divorce, substance abuse, relationship problems, drinking, autism, eating disorders, and more--somehow managing to never grow too heavy, filled with hope and possibility for the future. The family, for all its dysfunction, is full of laughter, creativity, and odd moments of joy in nature and life's little moments.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    The Art of Adapting is one of the best novels I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Cassandra Dunn tells the story of a family (mother, teenaged son, teenaged daughter, and the mother's brother) trying to find a new "normal" after the father of the family decides to move out. Dunn cleverly breathes life into her characters, fleshing them out with rich detail and letting each character's thoughts and perspective shine through. Every character is relatable and very likeable, especiall The Art of Adapting is one of the best novels I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Cassandra Dunn tells the story of a family (mother, teenaged son, teenaged daughter, and the mother's brother) trying to find a new "normal" after the father of the family decides to move out. Dunn cleverly breathes life into her characters, fleshing them out with rich detail and letting each character's thoughts and perspective shine through. Every character is relatable and very likeable, especially (in my opinion) the uncle, Matt, who has autism. Dunn does an amazing job of describing how life might be for a person with autism, their actions, reactions, and the struggle to decipher how neural-typical people communicate. Matt becomes a quiet hero in my opinion, helping each member of the family in turn and ultimately helping them to relate to each other. This novel is well worth adding to your "must-read" list!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Collins

    This was a well-written story about a family's struggles with divorce, eating disorders, and Asperger's. The characters are believable and complex. I had a hard time putting this book down when it was time to go to sleep. This was a well-written story about a family's struggles with divorce, eating disorders, and Asperger's. The characters are believable and complex. I had a hard time putting this book down when it was time to go to sleep.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Presley

    I struggled with THE ART OF ADAPTING because in some ways, I really loved it and in others I found it predictable and a bit boring. In this story by Cassandra Dunn, a newly-separated mother of teenagers has to deal with putting herself back out there, adapting to life without her husband (but still with him in it some, as they are only separated), and watching out for a grown brother who has struggles with Asperger's Syndrome. It seems like it's almost too much for one book to handle, but that's I struggled with THE ART OF ADAPTING because in some ways, I really loved it and in others I found it predictable and a bit boring. In this story by Cassandra Dunn, a newly-separated mother of teenagers has to deal with putting herself back out there, adapting to life without her husband (but still with him in it some, as they are only separated), and watching out for a grown brother who has struggles with Asperger's Syndrome. It seems like it's almost too much for one book to handle, but that's where the beauty of the story came in. Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on August 2, 2014.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I loved this book. It was so well-written that I truly felt as if I became a part of this wonderful family. Lana is picking up the pieces of her life after her husband leaves her, and her teen son and daughter, are also facing their own challenges. When Lana's adult brother, who has Aspergers, moves in with them, each must learn how to move forward with their lives. I found this book hard to put down, and hated to see it end. It definitely ranks as one of my top reads of 2014, and I can't wait t I loved this book. It was so well-written that I truly felt as if I became a part of this wonderful family. Lana is picking up the pieces of her life after her husband leaves her, and her teen son and daughter, are also facing their own challenges. When Lana's adult brother, who has Aspergers, moves in with them, each must learn how to move forward with their lives. I found this book hard to put down, and hated to see it end. It definitely ranks as one of my top reads of 2014, and I can't wait to read Cassandra Dunn's next bestseller!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea P

    I really enjoyed this book about a mother, Lana, her two teenaged kids, and her autistic brother coping with major changes in their lives. The writing was straightforward and thoughtful which drew me in to each of the characters and the way they each struggled with life and each other. Matt, the autistic brother, was my favorite character in the book. Even with his challenges as an autistic man and maybe even because of his challenges, he seemed to be the one that held the family together. The s I really enjoyed this book about a mother, Lana, her two teenaged kids, and her autistic brother coping with major changes in their lives. The writing was straightforward and thoughtful which drew me in to each of the characters and the way they each struggled with life and each other. Matt, the autistic brother, was my favorite character in the book. Even with his challenges as an autistic man and maybe even because of his challenges, he seemed to be the one that held the family together. The story felt like a little slice of life in a normal, modern family. Thank you Cassandra!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    When I started this book I was suspect about how much I would enjoy it. It seemed to be about a separated mother who was all lost and adrift and I thought "oh here we go again". However as the book continued, I really started to get into it. Each of the four main characters who live together have their own voice through the book and it is the other three characters that especially liven the book up. Everyone has to find their own way forward and find their "adaptation" - which mainly seems to ad When I started this book I was suspect about how much I would enjoy it. It seemed to be about a separated mother who was all lost and adrift and I thought "oh here we go again". However as the book continued, I really started to get into it. Each of the four main characters who live together have their own voice through the book and it is the other three characters that especially liven the book up. Everyone has to find their own way forward and find their "adaptation" - which mainly seems to adapt to circumstances and find what works for them.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Bowler

    The Art of Adapting by Cassandra Dunn centres on Lana, her two children and brother who find themselves housemates following her separation. Each of them experience growth throughout the novel, helping each other directly and indirectly in order to do so. Family is one of my favourite themes in reading and I loved these characters and enjoyed watching their relationships strengthen. A gentle read, highly recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    J.D. Spero

    Restores faith in humanity. I'd had some bad luck with a run of duds in my reading repertoire and longed for a book that would give me that "can't wait to get back to it" feeling, make me cry happy tears, and inspire me from a writing perspective. I'm so glad I chose this book. It gave me just what I needed. I'm sad it's over. Restores faith in humanity. I'd had some bad luck with a run of duds in my reading repertoire and longed for a book that would give me that "can't wait to get back to it" feeling, make me cry happy tears, and inspire me from a writing perspective. I'm so glad I chose this book. It gave me just what I needed. I'm sad it's over.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    This book is an amusing and entertaining read, but it also offers serious topics for discussion in a compassionate way. Lana and her two children are dealing with being on their own. Her husband has decided that he no longer wants to be married. To further complicate her life she has chosen to provide a home for her brother Matt, who has Aspergers's Syndrome. This book is an amusing and entertaining read, but it also offers serious topics for discussion in a compassionate way. Lana and her two children are dealing with being on their own. Her husband has decided that he no longer wants to be married. To further complicate her life she has chosen to provide a home for her brother Matt, who has Aspergers's Syndrome.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna Merritt

    Told from the view of a forty-something woman getting divorced, her two teen kids with their own worries, and her brother (who has Asperger's), this is an entertaining and thoughtful book. Minor grumblings . . . could be a bit didactic in parts and the longer dialogues were not always realistic. Still, as a debut novel, it's excellent and I look forward to more works by Ms. Dunn. Told from the view of a forty-something woman getting divorced, her two teen kids with their own worries, and her brother (who has Asperger's), this is an entertaining and thoughtful book. Minor grumblings . . . could be a bit didactic in parts and the longer dialogues were not always realistic. Still, as a debut novel, it's excellent and I look forward to more works by Ms. Dunn.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Lots of different aspects to the book. Many layers to the story. Really enjoyed getting to know each character individually. Nice story! I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads but it has no bearing on the rating I gave it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.