The Boy Who Loved Too Much
by Jennifer Latson
Simon & Schuster

Neurologist Oliver Sacks described people with Williams syndrome as a “hypermusical species”. Those born with the syndrome may be gifted in music and storytelling, and have warm, outgoing personalities, but they also have low IQs, and health problems such as heart defects. This remarkable book centres on a boy named Eli, about whom Jennifer Latson writes: “Once you got to know him, it was also easy to see how his endless capacity for love could put him in danger.” Latson spent three years following Eli and his mother, Gayle, from his childhood into his teens, when it was no longer appropriate for him to be throwing his arms around strangers or asking them for tickles. Latson effec­tively mixes research into her narrative, showing how Gayle coped, or didn’t: her son’s extreme sociability led her to isolate herself because she could never let him out of her sight.