Title: How We Deal With gravity
Author: Ginger Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 6 2014
When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
4.5 “The Pull of Gravity” Stars!
How We Deal With Gravity by Ginger Scott is one of those books that hit me right in the heart. Boy did this book hit close to home for me. This author has penned a beautifully intricate tale about love, the challenges of life, growing up, diversity and acceptance. When life is so inundated already by unexpected challenges, can there be room for the love of a lifetime?
Avery Abbot has been dealt a hand in life that comes with a lot of challenges, one that many people never have to face. She now finds herself as a single mother to a five year old boy with autism. Her husband abandoned them when their son was diagnosed, leaving Avery to face the life-altering change without a partner. Avery had no choice but to pick up the shattered pieces of her heart and move on with her life. Her focus had to be Max, a little boy who depended on her. With the help of her father and her best friend, Avery is fighting her way through life. It is not always easy, but she cannot falter with so many battles that have to be fought for Max. Making room for anyone else is definitely not a priority for Avery. That is, until someone from her past comes waltzing back into town.
Mason Street has returned back to his hometown as a failure with his big dreams of being in the limelight shattered and unfulfilled. After five years of being on the road with the Mason Street Band, Mason has nothing to show for it but a dropped record contract and a trail of bad decisions and irresponsible behavior. With nothing left to lose, he returns to the town he left behind never thinking he would be back. Mason credits his start and love for music to Ray Abbot, a father-figure who took him in and taught him all he knew. He once again turns to Ray and his home, a home that now includes a very different Avery Abbot than he remembers, now a woman with a lot of spunk and a young son to care for.
“That girl – she’ll always see the best in you. Even when she doesn’t want to.”
“If I look at Mason now, I’ll be lost. And I don’t have time to be lost – I have too many things on the other side of this fantasy that depend on me.”
“I like you…I more than like you. So maybe we can start with that?”
Mason and Avery went to school together and spent some time in each other’s presence seeing that Avery’s father (Ray) played such an influential role in Mason’s life. For Mason his relationship with Avery never went beyond anything but friendship, not even a close friendship at that. However, for Avery, Mason was the boy she loved silently for many years. He was untouchable for a girl like her. He was also the boy who broke her heart without even realizing it. As Mason spends more and more time with Avery he begins to see her in a new light. Gone is the young, shy and awkward girl who he called “Birdie”. Avery is now a beautiful woman with a strength that Mason can’t help but admire. For the first time Mason starts wanting something more with someone, something beyond the physical. Something that reaches beyond the surface. But, Avery has a lot on her plate. She is dealing with the weight of the world upon her shoulders. How can she even think about love when she has no time to be selfish? With a world so full of structure and routine, how can Avery even think about taking a chance on the possibility of the unknown?
So many things about this book made my heart happy. I loved the slow build of Avery and Mason’s relationship. Mason had a lot of growing up to do and as he slowly begins to find himself once again, Avery can’t help but fall for him all over again. I absolutely loved how Mason stepped up to the plate and proved that he could be a man who is there for Avery (and for her son Max), someone who could help her carry the burdens of life. The relationship that Mason slowly began to develop with Max was beyond beautiful. Somewhere along the way Mason had lost hold of who he was deep down. It took coming back home and reconnecting with Avery to allow him to see what is important in life. With a steely determination, Mason sets out to prove that what he and Avery share is worth taking a chance on.
When it comes to Avery, I found everything about her and all that she was dealing with so very real. She had to grow up fast and take on so much more than any parent usually signs up for. Did she crumble and fade? Nope. She took it all on with strength and dignity. When I mentioned earlier in my review how this book hits home for me, I truly meant that. You see, I have a six year old son who is on the autism spectrum so every time I read about Max and the challenges he faces, or about all Avery’s fears and stresses as a parent of a child with special needs, it touched me on a personal level. Is my son like Max? Well, no. Each child on the spectrum is so very different. However, I related to all of Avery’s worries. I understood the magnitude of the fear for her son’s future. I have those same fears. I related to the difficulties with school. My family deals with them. So much about this book, about Max and Avery, made my heart stutter. Kudos to this author who took on a subject that so many people know so little about and made it something tangible. Ms. Scott does an incredible job of depicting what life can be like with a child on the spectrum, the highs and the lows. For that, I am grateful. It was done with compassion and grace.
All in all, How We Deal With Gravity is a book that will stay with me for quite some time. In the midst of the adversity of life, love is always something worth fighting for and taking a chance on. It is what gets us through those hard moments. It makes us better. This book was so much more than a love story. What Ginger Scott has weaved is a beautiful and tender tale about embracing life and all that it encompasses. No matter what is what is thrown our way we push through and, sometimes, we come out on the other side with a love beyond measure.
Guest Post from Ginger Scott
As the subject of autism is close to Lisa’s heart, we asked Ginger to expand on why she chose to touch on the subject in a romance novel
Autism. My connection. And the inspiration behind How We Deal With Gravity.
I’m a hopeless romantic. Always have been. I was the girl with butterflies in her tummy at just about every high school dance and the one crying at every John Hughes movie (no matter how many times I saw them). I’m also a sucker for a good news story. You know—the kind that move you? I save them, clip them from magazines, stalk them on YouTube, tuck them away on jump drives. I like the ones that show the strength of the human spirit; how we can be pushed to almost breaking points, yet still persevere.
Years ago, I was a young journalist, and I wanted to write one of those.
I had just left the newspaper world where I was working as a breaking news reporter covering crime, courts and politics—the exciting stuff that happened in the wee hours and ends up on front pages. Suddenly I found myself in the land of magazine writing, with month-long deadlines and thousands of words at my disposal. And I was hungry to write a story that really mattered. I mean really mattered. I profiled interesting people, investigated some serious political puzzles and covered some pretty exciting business deals. But I still hadn’t found that gem—that story that I would want to rip from my magazine and save.
I’m not sure where I was when the idea of autism hit me. But once that thought passed through my mind, it kept coming until I couldn’t ignore it. I wanted to show what it was really like to be a family living with autism. I didn’t know much, a vague impression of what autism was that I’d picked up from movies and a few articles. But I made my pitch, found a few key local connections and was off and running on my assignment. I read article after article, medical journal after medical journal, and book after book—and everything felt like it was upside down and impossible to understand. A typical journey for a person’s first experience researching autism, I would later come to understand.
Once I had soaked in what I could on my own, I took a deep breath and called an organization here in Arizona that would be my anchor, and hopefully put me in touch with families, doctors, therapists, teachers—people who could help me make sense of what I’d learned so I could tell the story to others. This place is called the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC), and when I first entered its doors, it was nothing more than a library room and a few resource offices for therapy, meetings and assistance.
It was a small operation, but it was mighty.
I walked into SARRC as a journalist on her mission for a good story, and I walked away changed forever. I met the founder, Denise Resnik, and spent time with her family learning first hand what went into raising a child with autism. But I also learned what went into igniting a wave of change—a movement. When Resnik received a diagnosis of autism, she processed it with grief, anger, frustration, despair, hope and will, as many families do. And then she partnered with a few others, dug in and started something—something…big.
Since those early days, SARRC has grown into one of the national leaders in autism research, spawning programs like job training for young adults, genome studies, integrated pre-school programs and more. That tiny building has grown into an enormous one, and SARRC’s reach is mighty.
I have never been inspired by anything more my life, and that first story, which turned into my favorite thing I’ve ever written, ignited a passion in me to help however I can to spread autism’s story. Over the years, I have volunteered my writing services to SARRC, telling dozens of stories of families, doctors, programs, achievements, triumphs and inspirations. And over that time, I have had family members face autism diagnoses as well as many friends.
So now fast forward to a few months ago, when another idea found its way into my head. I had a new story I wanted to tell—this time, as an author. Autism, a realistic portrait from the mother’s point of view. Sure, I had a few moments of doubt, fear that I wouldn’t be able to make this story work. How could I weave in something so…so heavy…into a love story, and leave people feeling unbroken? The parents of children with autism that I have interviewed over the years are some of the most inspiring humans I have had the pleasure of getting to know. So I drew on their strength, and just shut my eyes and let myself imagine it.
The title came first—in a blink. And I never once wavered from it. Gravity—it’s such an amazing force. Like love—love for a child and love for a soul mate. The young adults I have interviewed with autism, and those I know personally, are also some of the most brilliant young people I have ever met. And things like science, astronomy, gravity—it is their air. So it fit…it fit perfectly.
The prologue came next, and it was equally as fast. I drew from the dozens of scenes I had witnessed or been a part of with friends and family. And I knew once I put those words on pages, I was not going to be able to stop.
Autism is a powerful subject in its own right, and the numbers, unfortunately, show that it’s something more and more of us are intimately aware of (the latest studies show one in 68 children in the US are affected). I’m not the same person I was when I first walked through SARRC’s doors. I’ve absorbed and helped share some pretty powerful true stories—stories of challenged marriages, crushed spirits and loss. But somehow, people find a way to persevere. And that…that…is what HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY is about.
Autism is consuming. It becomes a parent’s priority, and things like love, happiness…and life…take a back seat. Ah but hope—hope. This one word is something I hear in every interview of every family affected by autism. So when I created Avery Abbot, I wanted to push her to the edge of almost losing hope—and then I wanted to give her chance. And that’s how Mason Street was born.
You see, love and hope are deeply intertwined, and I believe you need to use one to fight for the other. And when you are raising a child with autism, love and hope almost take on super human strength, because you need them to survive. And I wanted to tell a story that honored that fight. So while HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY is a love story between two people who are losing hope, it’s also my love song to the many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents who have opened up their hearts to me and shared their stories with me over the years. They’ve changed me, and I hope I do them justice.
The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center is located in Phoenix, Arizona, but it serves the Southwest and beyond. For more information, visit them online at www.autismcenter.org.
A Little About Me
I tell stories for a living. It’s a pretty great gig, actually. Each story has led to an amazing encounter, be it a new appreciation for the view from atop a polo horse to a deeper understanding of what it means to be the parent of a child with autism. I’ve told the stories of Olympians, comedians, doctors, teachers, politicians, activists, criminals, heroes and towns. You can check out a small sampling here or, heck, just Google me — my journalism work is usually under Ginger Eiden. I published my debut novel, Waiting on the Sidelines, in spring 2013, and in July 2014, I published my fourth novel, a new-adult romance about hard choices and second chances. My fifth book, a really raw college romance called This Is Falling will be out later this summer!
As always, I’d love to hear from you.
- Please check me out on Goodreads @ goodreads.com/gingerscott
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