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The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes
     

The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes

3.3 3
by Randi Davenport
 

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Randi Davenport’s story is a testament to human fortitude, to hope, and to a mother’s uncompromising love for her children. 

She had always worked hard to provide her family with a sense of stability and strength, despite the challenges of having a son with autism and a husband whose erratic behavior sometimes puzzled and confused her.

But

Overview


Randi Davenport’s story is a testament to human fortitude, to hope, and to a mother’s uncompromising love for her children. 

She had always worked hard to provide her family with a sense of stability and strength, despite the challenges of having a son with autism and a husband whose erratic behavior sometimes puzzled and confused her.

But eventually, Randi’s husband slipped into his own world and permanently out of her family’s. And at fifteen, her son Chase entered an unremitting psychosis—pursued by terrifying images, unable to recognize his own mother, unwilling to eat or even talk—becoming ever more tortured and unreachable.

Beautifully written and profoundly moving, this is the heartbreaking yet triumphant story of how Randi Davenport navigated the byzantine and broken health care system and managed not just to save her son from the brink of suicide but to bring him back to her again, and make her family whole.  In The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes, she gives voice to the experiences of countless families whose struggles with mental illness are likewise invisible to the larger world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An unforgettable memoir of a shattered family, a mother's abiding love, and the frightening permutations of the human mind." --Elle

"A gripping memoir of motherly love and absolute devotion." --Kirkus

"This is her gripping account of that unrelenting battle. It isn't a medical thriller that climaxes with an 11th-hour cure. The light of its happy ending burns low, but in this courageous mother's eyes it shines as bright as the sun." --Boston Globe

Elle Magazine
"An unforgettable memoir of a shattered family, a mother's abiding love, and the frightening permutations of the human mind." --Elle
Kirkus Reviews
"A gripping memoir of motherly love and absolute devotion." --Kirkus
Boston Globe
"This is her gripping account of that unrelenting battle. It isn't a medical thriller that climaxes with an 11th-hour cure. The light of its happy ending burns low, but in this courageous mother's eyes it shines as bright as the sun." —Boston Globe
Publishers Weekly
An academic and writer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, offers a dense, achingly inconclusive tale about her developmentally challenged son, whose difficulties remain elusively untreatable and largely undiagnosed. Davenport writes poignantly about her increasing sense of helplessness over the years as her son, Chase, moving into his teens, grows harder and harder to manage, from his inability to focus and sit still, to his paranoia and obsession with morbid thoughts, his seizures, to his eruptive agitation and truculence that eventually warranted long-term hospitalization. What was wrong with him? Davenport lists the dozens of doctors’ suggestions over the years, from autism and severe ADHD to seizure disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia. Yet, stubbornly, Chase’s diagnosis remains unnamable, and a plethora of drugs often fail him, such as Clozaril, which checked his psychosis but left him vegetative. Chase’s indefinable state proves problematic for insurance providers, who cut off his hospital coverage though no long-term care facility will take him. As a result, Chase has to spend a frightening stint at the state mental hospital. Davenport’s memoir is intensely thorough and affecting. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565126114
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A heartbreaking, disturbing, and truly courageous story of one mother’s fight to save her son." —Alice Hoffman, author of The Story Sisters

Meet the Author


Randi Davenport received her MA in creative writing from Syracuse University as well as a PhD in literature. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in publications like the Washington Post, the Ontario Review, the Alaska Review, and Film/Literature Quarterly. She is the executive director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Boy Who Loved Tornadoes 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone has a story to tell or so the saying goes, but none like the story that Randi Davenport tells in her new book, The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes. This author's journey through life as a wife and mother of two children who is forced to face the devastating impact of mental illness in her own family when her husband abandons them due to his own mental incapacities and leaves her alone to raise and care for a daughter and son who has debilitating mental health issues of his own. This beautifully written story is a true testament, in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, of perseverance, persistence, and positive possibilities for the future. Readers will ride a tidal wave of emotion ranging from love and optimism, to anger and despair, back to triumph and hope for our society. Mental illness can no longer be kept behind closed doors nor can it be the responsibility of the parent alone to care for their family members or maneuver through our health care system. If this book does one thing it reinforces that every child is truly a gift in their own unique way. Each child offers value and worth to the human experience.