Review: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin


Book Title: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin
Author: Stephanie Knipper
Series: None
Genres: Fiction, Magical Realism, Special Needs

Date Read: 07/15/16
Pub Date: 08/02/16


Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when they were kids. As adults, they’ve been estranged for years, until circumstances force them to come together to protect Rose’s daughter. Ten-year-old Antoinette has a severe form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness: she can heal things with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor’s tremors disappear, changes the normal course of nature on the Kentucky flower farm where she and her mother live.

Antoinette’s gift, though, puts her own life in danger, as each healing comes with an increasingly deadly price. As Rose—the center of her daughter’s life—struggles with her own failing health, and Lily confronts her anguished past, they, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.

Let me just start by saying I cherish my signed copy of this book, so much so that it sits on a special shelf with my most important books. I’m admitting fully and freely right here that I’m probably biased as a reader and reviewer of this book, as the subject is near and dear to my heart, but my hope is that this touching story reaches all the right people who need it as much as I did, and still do. Stephanie and I bonded over Facebook while discussing the parenting of special needs children and from that moment on I knew this book would be well needed by many. When she reached out to me, I was just on the tail end of walking through our own diagnosis process with our then 3 year old and still very tender and raw. This book couldn’t have come at a better time; as I read this fictional story my heart seemed to heal just the tiniest bit. I don’t want to turn this into a post all about ME ME ME, but I just felt the need to include how personal of an experience reading this book truly was.

I’m fairly new to the magical realism genre, so I don’t have many books to compare this with, although I’m not sure there is much I could compare it with at the time of this writing. If you read the premise above you can see just what a unique plot this is and I’m sure you can already sense the deep level of emotion portrayed within the pages. I found myself bawling from the dedication page on (which is written out to her daughter Grace, who this book is inspired by) and DEAR GOD I’m tearing up right now just remembering it! The plot is simultaneously heart breaking and hopeful with a side of feel good. The characters were a huge part of what made this story a winner; they each have their own traits that bring them to life. My absolute favorite aspect of the book was the relation of music and melodies to Antoinette, as she is non-verbal. The beauty in these entries sent me over the edge; as you can tell many tears were shed in the reading of this book but in the best way possible.

If you are a reader of books with all the feels,look no further; this is it baby! I apologize for sounding like a blubbering, choppy mess while reviewing this, but I just can’t seem to portray how special and truly powerful this book was. I am so thrilled to keep an eye out for what Stephanie Knipper decides to publish next; I would follow her writing wherever it takes me. If you have a child of any kind with special needs in your life, this is a wonderful example of a touching story told with class and taste galore. I applaud Mrs. Knipper for writing a book targeted to a community that is so fragile; it is so easy to unnecessarily offend someone with the smallest comment and she has delicately avoided that. If this seems your genre at all, I beg you to give this a try; your heart might never be the same after finishing it.

*I won a copy of this book via Facebook giveaway offered by the author. I was not required to write a review but it was a privilege to provide my honest thoughts.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin”

  1. It sounds like an interesting book. I can relate to the whole autism idea, being rather introverted and very sensitive myself. The extroverts in my life have a hard time understanding me and why I can’t handle problems the same way they do. But they are learning to be patient, and I am learning to be patient with them as they develop patience with me. It’s not easy being an introvert. As a result, I have developed some interest in psychology, though I have a greater interest in divine healing. Learning how to relate to people who are different from me is a challenge, but if you have just one person who relates to you, it can be a big help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know you had a special needs child. That must take a lot of time and patience, and I applaud you for that.
    This sounds wonderful. Autistic children are smart and talented but have problems with the way the information comes in, right? I have always been fascinated by how smart many of them are but how hard it is for them to connect to what’s going on around them. (Please totally correct me if I’m wrong!) A book about someone on the spectrum that heals is so perfectly poetic and symbolic.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this book. Don’t want to feel anything so probably won’t read it for awhile (have enough real-world feels, lol), but I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Chelsea. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear! My oldest was diagnosed with Autism (Asperger’s specifically but they don’t call it that anymore) back in April. Each child is different on the spectrum; mine happens to be very bright (at age 3 she was reading at a third grade level, writing and doing full on math) but has loads of sensory issues; in her case she is overly sensitive and requires extra stimulation of various sorts. In the past she’s had lots of issues with sleeping and eating, but therapy has helped tremendously! She has come so far; this year at school she has begun to make friends!


  3. I am so happy you found this book healing. I met this author at the Books by the Banks book festival here in Ohio last month. Before I attended the event, I had researched the confirmed authors. When I came upon The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin, I took one look at the cover and immediately read the blurb. I was sold within the first few lines. THEN I did some research on her and found out that she has adopted 5 special needs children from China. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to buy this book. She is such a lovely person! My signed copy is sitting on my shelf in a place of honor as well, though I haven’t gotten the chance to read it yet. After reading this, I am definitely going to try and get it read before the end of the year. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful review. I wonder, tho’, about the phrase “Magical Realism”; I associate it with “literary” fiction snobs who’d be embarrassed to admit they read “fantasy” or “the paranormal” but calling them “Magical Realism” makes them intellectually respectable.

    Liked by 1 person

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