Leila Chapter H
To cut a long story short, the book did pretty well!
Yes, it was a real success.
In fact, soon after it was published it was quickly on the curriculum of what seemed like every school on the planet. And they all bought twenty or thirty copies! They said it was a sensitive treatment and a celebration of autism. I’ll agree with that! It was all that.
Averaged out over the different markets (it’s popular all over the place!) the deal with the publisher eventually netted out at just over £1.00 on every physical copy sold, and a little more on each download or eBook.
And it’s sold nearly seven million copies!
As Chica might say, you do the math!
Here are a few of the early reviews. They’re mostly great, although you always get one…
Let’s get that one out of the way quickly.
Leila is just another worthy coming-of-age story with a message. It deals quite well with the subject of autism, but readers are subjected to endless descriptions of forests and woods, and to be honest, although Leila wanders round them all the time, she never gets out of them. She might as well get lost for good as far as I am concerned.
Some of the individual scenes are outstanding, particularly those describing what is going on in her head. The car crash and bookshop metaphors work really well, and as a lifelong celebrator of my own superpowers, I can identify completely with what is going on. Especially as a child, those were the feelings I had. Only an autistic author could describe them with such intensity and empathy. Brilliant.
The relationship between Leila and the old man is developed sensitively and never strays into the Lolitaesque creepiness that it could have done. His support and empathy are a constant, and she responds in her own unique ways to him. Ways that she is unable to handle with anyone else. Without plot-spoiling, some unexpected twists and turns made the story readable, and I was left wondering what might happen to her next. The story is ripe for a sequel.
The Sun Book of the Week
Unputdownable! I had a W-eila of a time reading this! A real page-turner with a feisty heroine and a kindly gent. Some lovely descriptions of their rural lives and a nice twist in the tale at the end. Roald Dahl would be proud!
American Autism Review
This is an elegant treatment wrapped in a gripping adventure story. Leila is sympathetically drawn, and we warm to her despite and because of her neuro-atypicalities. The support she receives from him is unwavering, calm and dependable, just like we all need. He is part saint, part psychologist, part family. He is the man we would all seek, if he exists at all. I will go on looking for him!
Print all of Leila