■ REVIEW: Mozart and the Whale
A love story that changed my mind

I’m not a fan of love stories, soppy things that they are. However, this one got my attention and managed to hold it for the duration.

Jerry and Mary Newport are both self-described hopeless misfits, both born with Asperger’s Syndrome — a form of autism that was featured in the movie Rainman.

Sufferers simply can’t process the sort of social cues and information necessary to function normally in society and form normal relationships.

The Newports are also both savants: Jerry is a mathematical genius and Mary a gifted composer and artist.

They met, fell in love and married but, sadly, that’s not the end of the story. Things fell apart and the couple ended up divorced.

They drifted apart and both eventually attempted suicide but, happily, reunited and married after years of heartache.

So what are the odds of two people meeting, falling in love, marrying and divorcing, after which both fall into depression and attempt suicide then reuniting, remarrying and living happily ever after?

Pretty good for these two, and it forms the basis of a very readable love story with real humour and real feelings.

Mozart and the Whale, by Jerry and Mary Newport, with Johnny Dodd (Allen and Unwin, $35)

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