Andrew Solomon spent a decade researching and writing “Far From the Tree” and it may take me a decade to read it. I am used to the percentage on the bottom of the screen of my Kindle or iPhone going up really quickly. I read fast. Not so for this remarkable book. I am really taking my time with it. Also, I have to take my time; it seems to have 50000 e-reader pages.
What a relief; it is is such a thoughtful, engaging, rich piece of work. Solomon investigates and explores the worlds of parenting children with horizontal identities- traits, illnesses, affectations, congenital conditions that mark them as very different from their parents. Solomon is careful in his editorialization; he is judicious but not judgmental.
I can see that there are moments in the book where a reader might want Solomon to pick a side or to be more political but the beauty of his writing is in his exceptionally thorough examination of all facets of what these parents and children face.
I thought I was open and accepting and I thought I knew a little about a lot of types of disabilities. I didn’t really. This book is an education. I think even the already understanding and tolerant need to read it.