Romantic Suspense Novel with Autistic Female Protagonist

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know how many of you read books by Christine Feehan. She has several very popular series of novels that are out. All have some degree of paranormal fantasy to them. Water Bound is the title of one that is about a family of men from Russia that were taken to a boarding school in Russia as children because they had psychic gifts and they were trained to be spies and assassins. In this one, the second brother is on a ship that sinks due to events in a previous book about a linked but different family of women. The second brother is rescued under the water by a woman who is high functioning autistic.

    I find it fascinating. She isn't a token special needs person, but the main female character and she is a minor character in the future books about the other brothers. Her sensory issues, hyperfocus, need for things that others simply cannot understand, etc... all ring fairly true. Of course she has a paranormal thing going on also, but the autism is never downplayed or even overdone, as far as I know. It gives a pretty good picture of what is going on in her head/mind/heart as far as what she is experiencing and what is going on in her head. She is presented as a real person though of course some things are glossed over for the sake of the novel.

    I like how her sensory issues are handled and the respect it takes to show her as a complete adult woman with her own mind, heart, problems and abilities. I have read other books with protagonists of either sex where the challenges of autism are mentioned near the beginning, and sprinkled here and there, but for the most part they are glossed over rather than the character having the autism used as a shortcut to explain quirks, talents, etc... with-o any real attempt to show how autism impacts every facet of life . Of course the book isn't perfect in the way it handles autism, but it is one of the best novels that portrays an autistic main character.

    I tthink what I am trying to express is that the female protagonist is an autistic woman in this novel rather than a female protagonist being a woman in whatever situation who happens to have a few autistic quirks that are more superficial and one dimensional. I hope I am expressing this well.

    For those of you who are Feehan fans, this is in the Drake Sisters series as the next extension after the youngest Drake gets married. There are some characters with autism in the 'Game' series about Ghostwalkers, but in this the autism is more integral to the character.

    This may not be to everyone's taste, but I LOVE that mainstream novels are representing people with autism as real people, as a lead character and not in a supporting role, and showing some of the real challenges that are part of being autistic.