by Francisco Stork
I considered saying that this is a wonderful book about a young man with disabilities. But that wouldn't be quite correct. Marcello does indeed see the world differently, but would I call it a disability? Not for Marcello.
I thought about saying that this is a coming of age story. That is true, almost. Marcello does indeed find the strength within himself to see the world differently. In all of its ugliness and sad reality. So in this way, I guess he did go through a coming of age period, or at least began to find the strength he will need to make a place for himself.
This is the story of an extraordinary young man. A teenager who sees things differently, and thinks about what it is he sees. Really thinks. And finds understanding. He grows up in a family where he is embraced by his mother and sister for who he is, and who he can be. He is taught in an environment where there is no judgment, just unconditional acceptance. When the time comes for him to be tested, these all serve him well in finding his strength, his place in the world, his happiness and perhaps his love.
Marcello drew me in immediately. He and his family mattered to me. I so wanted him to be more than fiction, and I am sure that somewhere, he is. Marcello in the Real World is a wonderful book. I read it in one long session, because i couldn't make myself leave. I had to know how he faired. I couldn't step away before reaching the end of his story. But as with all good stories, there is no ending here. It is all about beginnings.