Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy (Blackstone)

Tavia Gilbert gives an inspired reading that brings a human face to the amazing recovery stories. Never editorializing or overly emotional, Gilbert relates these stories without sounding manufactured. The stories speak for themselves, and Gilbert is the perfect conduit to relate the complex medical language that pops up throughout. Publisher’s Weekly

Tavia Gilbert’s urgent reading captures the complexity of this controversial polemic on the causes of autism and strategies to overcome it. Sometimes her militant tone sounds out of sync with her otherwise attractive vocal range, but it’s a good match for the same kind of conflicting energies in Jenny McCarthy’s writing. The author explains that autistic symptoms can improve with medical treatments and that the medical establishment is blind to these treatments and to the environmental causes of the disorder. She makes her case with anecdotal evidence and relentless faith in her beliefs. The tasteful, appealing balance in Gilbert’s narration—ultimately more personal and convincing than argumentative—makes listeners want to believe in McCarthy’s position. AudioFile