Wow! Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life is definitely one of my favourite books of this year. It is full of so much warmth, wit and emotional intelligence. I absolutely love this unique and stunning novel, which had me laughing, then crying, then laughing all over again. I am sure that if you read Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life, you will feel the same way too.
I also feel Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life is a very important novel, which I will explain further in more detail below. But first, let me tell you more about Joe, his friends and this beautiful, life-affirming book.
Joe Nuthin’ is actually Joe-Nathan and believe me, he is far from ‘nuthin’! He is twenty-three years old with ‘not a mean bone in his body’. Being kind is something that Joe especially values, with kindness really important to him (as it should be). That is why Joe can’t understand why Mean Charlie at work chooses to express meanness rather than kindness – especially towards Joe.
It is clear from very early on in the novel that Joe is neurodiverse. Please don’t worry, this is not a spoiler. Guided by his mum Janet (who I also love), Joe is reluctantly but gradually beginning to live his life with a bit more independence. Although Joe doesn’t like change, and is attached to his routines and all that is familiar to him, Janet is encouraging her son to be more independent as she loves him with all her heart. There is also a part of her that desires a bit more of a life for herself.
But then something happens outside of everyone’s control that changes Joe’s life for ever. He has no choice, he has to step out from his comfort zone like never before. Still guided by his mum’s wisdom, and also his feisty, always swearing friend Chloe (who is brilliant!), Joe tackles the challenges of life. Joe has to learn to become more independent, but he also learns to use his own gut instincts. This results of this are life changing, not only for Joe, but also for those around him.
Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life is such a beautiful and engaging book full of wisdom and humour. It also a really important as it is a realistic, positive portrayal of disability – something which although gradually increasing, is still often lacking in many novels. There have been some occasions when I have been upset or even offended by the portrayal of disability in books, especially in contemporary literature. Although I am not neurodiverse, I have been disabled all my life, which has resulted me in working or volunteering in the disability world throughout my adult life. Inclusion for everyone is something I feel very passionate about. Hence this is why I feel Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life is so important as it beautifully depicts the wide array of strengths disabled people develop throughout life. It is authentic and true. It also highlights how dangerous it is to make assumptions.
For this reason, as well as writing such a heart warming, funny book, I have to say a massive thank you to Helen Fisher, the brilliant author of Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life.
I also have to mention Anne Cater from Random Things Tours and thank her yet again for inviting me to the blog tour of another fantastic book. Joe Nuthin’s Guide To Life, which was released on 9 November by Simon & Schuster really is a wonderful novel and I urge you all to read it.
To follow the blog tour, please see below.