2016 · TBC Challenge

Shtum by Jem Lester




Blurb – Powerful, darkly funny and heart-breaking, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

A powerful, emotional, but above all enjoyable read, perfect for fans of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.

Publish Date ~ April 7th 2016
Published by ~ Orion


My thoughts – Even though Shtum is not released until April this year the reviews have been flying in and it clearly sounds like it’s going to be the book of 2016 so I knew I had to read it but I really wasn’t sure if it would be for me. I have to say though as soon as I started reading it I couldn’t put it down and read it in two sittings.


It was a thought provoking read and stirred up so many emotions through the book, I found myself laughing, nearly crying, angry and sometimes I was so irritated I just wanted to pull Ben out and give him a good shake, Emma a slap and Jonah a huge big cuddle.

The story is written so well, you just seem to get absorbed into it and I was left at the end feeling like I knew this family, like I had lived through it all with them. The only criticism I would have is the end of the book, I really enjoyed it but felt like this could have gone on to be a separate story.

All in all a fantastic read and one I will be recommending to all my friends.

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review.


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