The Journal of Best Practices (by David Finch): A review!

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better HusbandThe Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

David Finch wrote an essay while taking a writing workshop. It was on his marriage and his struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome. New York Times picked it up and published it on May, 2009, under the Modern Love column.
If you want an idea of what this book deals with or want to gauge how serious or humorous his tone of narrative is, read the article –>… Part of that article ended up as the first page of the book.

By the time I finished the book I loved David and I loved Kristen. As much work as it must be for Kristen to understand David and help him while he tries to improve their marriage through his own metamorphosis, the woman seriously lucked out. I can’t imagine a husband more in love with his wife and I can’t imagine a wife more supportive and patient (mostly) with her husband. Because David needed a lot of patience and maybe most other women would have done exactly what David feared – give up on him and leave.

But the night David and Kristen realised, five years into a marriage that had fallen apart for reasons they couldn’t grasp, that David had Asperger’s…instead of packing and leaving, Kristen went to bed with a lighter heart, finally understanding why David did so many inexplicable and apparently selfish things. And David sat up deep into the night finally understanding himself.

I know nothing about Asperger’s but if someone had asked me I would have only said that it’s a form of Autism and probably severely impairs the person’s ability to socially interact. I would not have been wrong, but so very far from right. There is so much about Asperger’s I didn’t know and so much I didn’t understand. David is just one case. His autism is relatively mild. There are so many, many cases where the same dysfunctionality manifests itself differently, uniquely.

David Finch’s book humanises it and makes it something other a severe disability that only the unfortunate are born with.

I hope he writes more. Other than the subject of the book which basically covered the first 18 months after his diagnosis, what captured me was how easily he described simple everyday frustrations that even I (a neurotypical) can easily relate to and empathise with. The narrative was light and funny and introspective and never lagged in pace and never lost the rhythm of story-telling.

Amazon link: The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband

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