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Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan

Carry the Ocean

by Heidi Cullinan

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423273,462 (4.12)2



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I didn't want to say goodbye to Emmet. I can't say enough good things about the book. It was so heart warming and left me feeling wonderful. I loved it! ( )
  tiffsaddictiontobook | Jul 18, 2017 |
The story involves two young men, Emmet and Jeremey, who meet and fall in love. No, the conflict isn't that they are gay. It is that Emmet is autistic and Jeremey has severe clinical depression and suffers debilitating anxiety attacks. Emmet has an admirable grasp of his own abilities and needs. Supported by his rather incredible parents and an aunt who is also on the autism spectrum, he has worked out various signals and coping mechanisms, is attending college, and is quite possibly better adjusted than a lot of so-called "normal" people, or people "on the mean" as he often refers to us. Jeremey, on the other hand, is afflicted by his parents...they don't understand why he doesn't just "get over it"; they have spent most of his young life trying to cure him, fix what's wrong, turn him into a normal person, rather than seeking useful treatment that could help him function better and lead a fulfilling life on his own terms. They insist he will go to college, although he does not want to do so and is clearly unequipped to handle that environment. The idea of treating him as an individual with emotional needs they should meet, let alone with unconditional love and respect, seems beyond their understanding. His meltdowns embarrass them and they blame him for behavior that is impossible for him to control. And then they find out he's gay, and wants to move out of the house to live with his boyfriend. AY! Dio mio!

There are fascinating insights here into what I believe is called neuro-diversity, and i applaud the author for educating me without throwing me out of the story. Watching Jeremey and Emmet learn to relate to one another as loving partners is one of the best things about this book. It's all a journey of exploration and discovery and --fair warning--it includes some graphic descriptions of their sexual life, which has both a clinical aspect due to Emmet's detailed internet research on "how to do it", and a very moving tenderness as they are both utterly unselfish in their approach. Carry the Ocean is first and foremost a romance, so all the elements are designed to bring about a happy ending. One or two situations seem to resolve a little too easily, but you WANT that HEA so much that you just don't care. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Dec 6, 2015 |
Jeremey is a recent high school graduate who's been dealing with untreated and worsening clinical depression most of his life. His new neighbor, Emmet, has Autism Spectrum Disorder, majors in physics at university, and thinks Jeremey would make an excellent boyfriend. The book follows the two as they get to know one another, grow to understand how to relate to each other, and navigate treatment for Jeremey.

I want to wrap this book in a blanket and snuggle with it forever. The narrative alternates between Emmet's and Jeremey's points of view, so we get inside each of their heads and see how they experience the world. The attention to detail is exquisite, and the mental illness and neurodiversity representation rings all my bells. The story is also compelling, intense, and affecting. Recommended. ( )
  lycomayflower | Nov 2, 2015 |
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