A poignant, witty story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love. Jaya, 18, is growing up. To Izzie’s alarm, all her daughter wants from life is to get married and have babies. Which creates a moral dilemma for Izzie. How she can continue to protect Jaya whilst at the same time letting her go? Life as the single mum of a learning-disabled daughter in a small town in the West Midlands is tough. But the boundless love between Izzie and her beautiful, sparky daughter is reward enough in itself, fuelling the energy she pours into fighting her child’s corner who ‘isn’t disabled enough’ for much professional help beyond education in a college’s Special Educational Needs department. With little prospect of meaningful employment or continuing education, Izzie wonders if perhaps finding Jaya a ‘suitable husband’ via an arranged marriage wouldn’t be so crazy. It’s the common tradition of Jaya’s unknown, Indian biological father, after all, and an Indian girl in her class is already betrothed. But Jaya believes her obsessive love for John, a naive young teaching assistant, is reciprocated and it’s only a matter of time before they will be married. A disastrous sequence of events unfold until Jaya’s teenage fixation on love and marriage turns things around in a way that nobody could have ever foreseen. If you enjoy books like The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time by Mark Haddon and The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer, you’ll love this warm, funny, compellingly assured fiction debut by award-winning filmmaker Tanya Bullock.
I read Homecoming by this author a bit ago and absolutely loved it, so was over the moon to see she had also written another novel which is this one.
Jaya is a beautiful girl/woman who is mixed race and has special needs. Even though she is 18, mentally she is younger. Izzie her mum has basically put her life on hold to dedicate her life to her daughter and do the best she can for her.
The story itself I wasn’t quite sure of to start with as it flicks between mother and daughter very rapidly as well as then going to chapters that are solely dedicated to them as well as swapping and changing to some other characters. The style in how the author has written it is one that I have never come across before and I’m still not one hundred percent certain whether it fully works for me and this is why it didn’t quite get five stars.
Regardless of the writing style there is no faulting the characters themselves and the turmoil and struggles that the characters face. Izzie has to face people discriminating against her and her daughter due to her daughter being mixed raced as well as having special needs. Trying to find the right places to take her daughter where she is welcomed as well as getting the right education is a constant battle for Izzie. At the end of the day she is just like any other parent wanting the best for her child and it is such a shame of the struggles she constantly faces.
That Special Someone is such a lovely story that takes the reader into the world of a mother facing the daily struggles as well as the devotion shown to a child with special needs. Izzie is someone that I think is extremely likeable and easy to relate to, to be honest nearly all the characters are likeable ones whose lives the reader will certainly be interested in. It’s one of those stories that leaves you feeling rewarded just for reading it.
Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.
That Special Someone is available to purchase from Amazon.