May 03, 2010

Saving Max By Antoinette van Heugten (Wanda)

What would a loving mother not do for her child?

Lawyer Danielle Parkman is at her wits' end. Her son Max, a whip-smart teen with high-functioning autism, has always been a handful. But lately he's shutting down, using drugs and lashing out - violently.

Desperate, Danielle brings Max to a top-flight psychiatric facility for a full assessment. But rather than reassurance, Danielle receives an agonizing diagnosis describing a deeply damaged, dangerous boy - one she's never met.

Then Danielle finds Max unconscious and bloodied at the feet of a patient who has been brutally stabbed to death. A fiercely protective mother instinct rears its head - and Danielle is arrested as an accessory to the heinous crime.

In a baffling netherworld of doubt and fear, barred from contacting her son, Danielle clings to the thought of Max's innocence. But has she, too, lost touch with reality? Is her baby boy really a killer?

With the justice system bearing down on them both, Danielle steels herself to discover the truth - no matter how horrifying. It's a path well on the wrong side of the law. But only finding the true killer will absolve her from having to choose between her son and her soul.

Okay now I need to write a review about this book even though I decided not to finish reading it. Danielle has a high function autistic son who has asperger's. Now autism is a disease that is not contagious and it affects 1 out of 110 children born today. I have a handsome 9 year old with autism he has PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder). Like Danielle's son my son is extremely high functioning as well.
Danielle explains how her son was a sweet boy. How he was lovable and sweet. She explained how close they were, before he reaches his teenage years where things change from bad to worst. All this reminds me of my own son, except the bad to worst part because my son is still young.
Now the fact that this book is about a mom and her autistic son is what captivated me to this book. So Danielle's son has taken a downward turn with his autism. He started using drugs and becoming violent, suicidal, etc. So she decided to take him to a country known clinic to have him tested and try to find help and managing his outbursts. But one situation started happening after another. And she finds herself thinking what's going on with her son. He was acting out in ways she never seen before. So she became suspicious of the staff and found herself questioning the staff and the treatment they using with her son. Refusing to believe their prognosis about her son, she started to investigate and realized they didn't tell her everything they were doing with him. So when she decides to take him out of the hospital and get a second opinion, they won't let her take him.
Now that's where I stopped reading. It's my own denial. I pray that I never have to go through what the character in this book went through. And since the author wrote her story so vividly, I started going through my own denial about her case and praying that it never happens to me.
So this is a good book if you consider yourself strong enough to read and accept facts that she has written in this book. Now I'm not saying I'm not strong but I'm not strong enough to read what my future may hold for us.


  1. antoinette van heugtenSunday, May 30, 2010 1:35:00 PM

    Hello Wanda,
    Thank you so much for reading my novel, SAVING MAX, even though you didn't finish it! I understand completely why you couldn't bear to read on. Writing the novel was painful for me in so many ways, but I want you to know that my son is now 22 and is doing fantastically well! He has a good job and is very, very happy. Like you, I couldn't read anything when he was young that even smacked of a negative future for my son. Please know that all of your hard work and love for your son will pay off exponentially when he is an adult. Keep the faith!
    Antoinette van Heugten

  2. Hello Antoinette, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to Wanda's review and for checking out our blog. :-)

  3. Ty Antoinette, for commenting on my review and for reassuring me that there is hope in his future. I wanted to finish reading the book but I caught myself choking up in some scenes...and it was too intense for were so descriptive with your writing that I felt like I was reading my future...and my own denial won't allow me to finish....I most likely buy the book and save it for when I'm stronger to finish it....I'm aware that the future will most likely be challenging but I am reallllyy hoping for a productive future for him...I'm happy that you son is doing great...I honestly wasn't aware that you were writing about something so close to heart...Overall Ty for your response and time =D


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