4 out of 4 stars
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This story starts on an unfortunate night when everything changes for the Golden family. Sandra Golden had a happy family. Her kids, Connor and Madison, were bright and playful. Her husband, Sam, was serving in Iraq. Even though she terribly missed him, she knew that, in a few months, he would be back for good and everything would go back to normal. However, before Sam’s return, she encounters some trouble with her son. She gets a call from his school where his teacher reports Connor’s inconsistent and reckless behaviour towards his studies. While this seems like a small problem, bit by bit, it starts to take shape and, after a few months, reveals itself as a monstrous crisis that changes the course of the Golden family’s life.
Dings by Lance Fogan is about a mother who has just discovered that her eight-year-old son suffers from epilepsy. Through the story of the Goldens, it covers a lot of ground about this disease, all the while, educating the audience about it. There are a lot of things that people don’t know about epilepsy, due to which, they tend to form many misconceptions about it. This book shatters such illusions and presents a clear picture, especially about the basic things. It also serves as an education for parents to keep a close eye on their children and take note of every abnormal activity, so that, if there is a problem, it can be diagnosed, and dealt with, as soon as possible. There are a handful of technical terms in the book, and some people might have difficulty understanding them. For this, the writer has added a glossary at the end of the book to give proper information about everything.
When it comes to the audience, some people might think about passing over the opportunity of reading Dings. I would strongly suggest against it. First of all, this book needs to be read because it has a very critical issue as its theme. People should know about the things that this book is talking about, and hence, they must read it. Another reason that might make people refrain from reading it is that they might think that this book is about a disease and hence, will not entertain them. I am glad to tell them that they’d be wrong in thinking this. Had the writer decided to simply write a book about epilepsy, perhaps, even I wouldn’t have read it. Non-fiction, especially about diseases, and those that don’t concern us, rarely catch our attention. Perhaps, Lance Fogan realised this and decided to add a twist to the book.
The writer has very cleverly embedded all the info about epilepsy into the story of a family. The storytelling is quite imaginative. It doesn’t follow a chronological order, and this is what makes it more interesting. At times, it feels like a crime thriller, in which the disease is the perpetrator and breadcrumbs are thrown throughout the story to reveal its identity! In truth, the writing style is the true hero of this novel. The story is told from the point of view of a mother which places its perspective at a very critical angle. There are a lot of emotions, both happy and sad, in it and parents will highly relate to the Goldens. In addition to epilepsy, this book also talks about things like PTSD, the situation of a single mother, and the struggles of raising children. So, there is a wide spectrum when it comes to the things that the author wants to focus on.
My rating for this book is 4 out of 4 stars. There was absolutely nothing that I found lacking in it. It had great subject matter, its writing style was highly engrossing and its characters were acutely relatable. It wasn’t difficult to form a bond with the characters as they easily gained our sympathy with their situation, made us like them because of their strength and humanized themselves because of their flaws. It was very educational as well as an entertaining story, and I think everyone should read it.
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