The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness by Jennifer Latson
Synopsis: The poignant story of a boy’s coming-of-age complicated by Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that makes people biologically incapable of distrust.
What would it be like to see everyone as a friend? Twelve-year-old Eli D’Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting, and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. Eli lacks the innate skepticism that will help his peers navigate adolescence more safely—and vastly more successfully.
Journalist Jennifer Latson follows Eli over three critical years of his life as his mother, Gayle, must decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world and its dangers or give him the freedom to find his own way and become his own person.
By intertwining Eli and Gayle’s story with the science and history of Williams syndrome, the book explores the genetic basis of behavior and the quirks of human nature. More than a case study of a rare disorder, however, The Boy Who Loved Too Much is a universal tale about the joys and struggles of raising a child, of growing up, and of being different.
Published: June 2017 | ISBN: 978-1476774046
Author’s Homepage: http://www.jenniferlatson.net
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennielatson
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews Book Review
New Scientist Book Review
Publishers Weekly Book Review
Amazon Associates (SBAD gets a % of sales from books sold via these links, to help us do more work for science books)
Hardcover Edition: The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness
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I’ve never heard of this disorder – sounds like a fascinating story.
Yes. I read about it in my university studies. And the review in the NYTimes highlights how it can be considered alongside Autism.