A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
Published: December 29th 2016
Available in Hardback, Paperback and on Kindle
MEET THIRTY SOMETHING DAD, ALEX… He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.
MEET EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SAM… To him the world is a puzzle he can't solve on his own.
When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other… When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time?
A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart is an incredibly uplifting novel about learning to see the world around us from a different perspective. It’s a novel which will make you laugh and cry and embrace life in any way you can.
Alex and Jody have an eight year old son Sam who has recently being diagnosed as autistic. It has been an uphill battle to get this diagnosis and after have caused a strain between Jody and Alex. Alex unable to deal with his son’s random outbursts has hidden himself away using his job as an excuse. Left on her own to try and support Sam as best she can Jody has finally had enough and told Alex he has to leave.
Alex heads to best friend Dan’s house, who without question lets him in and allows Alex to wallow in his own selfish self-pity. It isn’t until Alex loses his job that he finally begins to realise he has to change and has to find a way to connect with Sam. Surprisingly this connection comes in the form of the game Minecraft. As Sam begins to play the game, he finds a world he can relate to and when Alex joins him playing he begins to communicate and form a bond with his son.
As Alex begins to understand more how his son sees the world the also begins to see his own life differently and slowly Alex begins to find his own place in the world that he has been searching for, for almost twenty years.
Alex was not a character I warmed to initially. He seemed quite selfish, if he didn’t want to deal with something he just walked away and let others get on with it, blaming the fact he didn’t understand autism as a get out cause. He seemed like he was lost in his own world, reliving the past over and over and he needed to find something to connect himself to the present and to his family. It wasn’t until a third of the way through the book where Alex becomes more aware of other people’s needs and then as he began to see things more from Sam’s point of view he became quite a nice guy.
A Boy Made of Blocks is a story of family trying to put themselves back together after a breakdown, rather like the Minecraft game, slowly piece by piece they begin to connect together again. It’s a story of learning to trust, to trust each other, to follow our instincts and trust that everything will turn out okay in the end. Most of all it’s a book about accepting who we are and celebrating each and every milestone and achievement no matter how small or difficult, because after all like the book says “Life’s an adventure, not a walk – that’s why it’s difficult”.
Keith Stuart has written an engaging and heartfelt novel which I enjoyed very much. He has truly captured the relationship between Alex and Sam and it was a pleasure to follow along on their journey of self-discovery.
Thank you to Sphere for inviting me on the blog tour and providing me with a review copy.