What are people saying about this book?
Reviews for Kimberly Gerry Tucker’s UTBM
“I am really honored that you’ve asked me to write a review of your
book. I am so impressed with your talents and achievements. You’re a
shining star in anyone’s world. I wasn’t able to do a quick read of
your manuscript because I found it fascinating, wanting to digest each word,
and read it slowly and carefully. There are many books written by people with various disabilities, but none quite like “UTBM” by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker. This is not just the story of someone with a rare condition; it is the life story of a little girl growing up to have children of her own dealing with life and
death issues. Her world comes alive with each word and page – a world that
will captivate you and embrace you as the ordinary become extraordinary.
Woven throughout the richly written experiences of her life are the
exceptional experiences of being different so that even the abnormal becomes
normal. Communication impairment doesn’t stop you from living a full and complete life. Regardless of the diagnosis for each individual, there is hope to live life to the fullest.” –-Helen L. Irlen, MA, LMFT, Executive Director Irlen Institute International HQ, PPS Credentialed School Psychologist, Educational Therapist, Adult Learning Disability Specialist, Board Certified Professional Counselor, Licensed Therapist, www.irlen.com , Reading by the Colors: A Piece of the Puzzle
” I found myself involved in Kim’s journey, not only as an onlooker but as a fellow traveler. Her attention to detail, her own awareness of herself and that of others, is stunningly real and honest. There is no ‘beating about the bush’ here and no watering of stuff down to make it more palatable. The raw emotive connections, as one travels with Kim, are reminiscent of a bygone era of childhood realities, social niceties and dark memories most of us would like not to remember. I identify with so many of her likes and dislikes. I identify with so many of her likes and dislikes. These include her love, admiration and telepathic communication with those beloved cats and other animals, as well as her sensory discomforts of things that could not be touched. Kim’s story is as unique, old fashioned and as modern as sliced bread. It is one I feel the better for having read and one that will stay with me for a very long time. Thank you Kim for humbly sharing yourself with so many of us!”
—Dr. Wenn Lawson PhD MAPS, researcher, psychologist, writer & poet has operated his own private practice for many years. Wenn was awarded fourth place as ‘Victorian Australian of the year’ in 2008. Originally diagnosed as being intellectually disabled, then in his teens as being schizophrenic, and finally in 1994, Wenn was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The parent of four children, two of her sons are also on the autistic spectrum. Wenn is passionate about the rights of those who so often cannot speak for themselves and aims to promote justice and equality for all.
“I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read the last page of your novel.
It is an extraordinarily beautiful piece of work and I feel so privileged
and humbled that you have shared it with me.
Although what you have been through is so far from my life experience that
I could only read with open-eyed empathy, I was able to relate to some
parts personally. Brutally honest and beautifully written. Kimberly’s poetic prose bares her world with candid, innocent openness. The issues she has coped with
would destroy most people yet despite her selective mutism and Asperger’s she comes through ‘embracing the perfection of imperfection’. As
you read, you will laugh and cry and feel humbled and privileged that you have been given a glimpse into the life of an extraordinary woman.”
–Kathy Hoopmann, author of ”All Cats Have Aspergers Syndrome”
“I identify with her in so many ways. I am proud of her…Dare to read this book. She dared to write it. You won’t forget it” —Donna Williams, author of the international bestseller Nobody Nowhere
” This is astory of love, loss and life. Kimberly’s superbly written memoir is in a sense, a call to action. As it effortlessly weaves words in patterns of deliciously deep inspiration, it also calls upon us to reflect upon our own challenges and breakdowns and to dream big. The reader will undoubtedly relate and fall under the spell of Kimberly’s incredible gift to us – where we can see and feel life beyond the appearances of breakdowns. With each page turned, I held my breath and let tears flow. I am blessed and better for the read. Bravo Kimberly and your journey of living, loving, loss, Asperger’s and selective mutism – and now, triumph, indelible forever. Kimberly’s way with words reminds me of my favorite modern author, Augustine Burroughs ‘Running with Scissors’.” –-Keri Bower, filmmaker, motivational speaker, advocate, author, http://normalfilms.com/ARTS.html
“I read Under the Banana Moon by Kimberly Tucker because I am interested in learning about ‘selective mutism.’ I suspected I suffer from this condition, co-morbid with Aspergers; having read this memoir I can say, I do.
The first person explanation of being mute in situations that normal people would have no problem speaking was so much more meaningful than the books by professionals intending to cure the condition… Kimberly wrote about Howie honestly, showing his abusive side as well as the tenderness between them…it was so realistic I am sure this will be an inspiration to other women on the autistic spectrum and not. Most Asperger’s memoirs gloss over the details of intimate relationships. I am looking forward to more writing from Ms. Tucker.” — Florida Mom
“I need to tell you that I love the way Kimberly uses words. Like this:
‘If I did not write, I feared that the unexpressed letters may dribble out of my mouth as I slept at night. I imagined them trickling down my face in times roman script.’ I love these sentences. As I sat reading her book, I could visualize Kimberly’s words traveling down her face in my favorite font. Lovely.
If you read Under the Banana Moon, keep a box of Kleenex by your side, because there are parts of her story that are very sad. But I also want you to get ready to raise your fist in the air, and shout BOO-YAH. Kimberly’s story reminds me of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote, ‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’ Kimberly takes on a host of things she was sure she could not do, as her husband Howie’s condition deteriorates. Despite her own illness, Kimberly finds things within herself that she never knew existed.
Kimberly’s story is real, the emotion is raw and painful; her words paint the portrait of a woman losing the love of her life to ALS, and discovering things about herself she never dreamed existed.
I’m giving Under the Banana Moon 5 stars, a must read for anyone who has gone through, or is going through, hard times.
And hey, if those hard times haven’t stopped by to visit you yet, hang in there because it will come, just like the tax man stops by your paycheck every few weeks to take Uncle Sam’s cut. Kimberly’s book will show you how to handle the crap with love, laughter, and an amazing grace. —Amazon Reader
“Starting with the excellent title, this book is a good read, offering a gripping topic and producing raw emotion. I knew little of Lou Gehrig’s disease and this was an education. The author writes without self-pity, describing the grueling care-taking which she seems to embrace and perform for her husband with profound generosity. It was an education, too, showing the way someone with Asperger’s could go through such difficulty so admirably that one forgets she herself is handicapped. The author is a role model, not only for other ‘Aspies,’ but for neurotypicals as well. And the book provides hope to us all in its treatment of love and loss and surviving the unspeakable.” —Ellen Stockdale Wolfe, author of Eyelocks and Other Fearsome Things, (BA Barnard College, MA Special Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and MLS in Library Science at Columbia University.)
“In Under The Banana Moon, you can get inside someone’s mind that has lived with autism. How does a person with Asperger’s Syndrome live, love, feel and struggle with survival? Kim Tucker narrates her personal experiences so that anyone can peer through her kaleidoscope and feel what she feels. It’s not a pretty picture. Kim’s story has tragedies. There are many autobiographies that detail personal tragedies. However in Under The Banana Moon, you experience her story through a unique set of lenses. The viewpoint is from a person who has a form of autism, which is definitely different. Kim’s childhood and much of her adult years are described in her own words and you can feel what she feels. Kim struggled for years with the care of her husband who has Lou Gehrig’s Disease ALS and his eventual death. Kim had no idea how to cope, and had no help at all. Her lone heroic struggle is a monument to what a person with Asperger’s Syndrome can do. She discovers art, in painting and writing to express her inner self. Her special humanity is worth discovering. Read this book.”—Steve Selpal (11/11/1950-8/3/2017) BFA painting, printmaking, was owner and president of Steve Selpal Art Production and Contributor and Member of Neurodiversity Network’s Cloud-Burst TV. He was also my friend.
“I was hooked, and finished it in just a matter of days. This book will make you laugh some, make you cry some, and most of all it will make you realize that we are all different, and all just doing what it takes to survive in our own normal.” –Amy Jimmo, Amazon Reader
“I chose to read this book after hearing a brief description about it. I heard that it was poetic, and that was enough for me to decide. I love reading poetry, and this book could absolutely be called one long poem… Kim does an amazing job of bringing you into her mind and really making you understand her thought process in daily life. I was also very curious to read this book because I knew that she is a selective mute. I wanted to learn more about what that means, and how it feels for people to live with. She did a fantastic job of explaining just that, and now I feel like I am better equipped to interact with someone who is a selective mute… Colors are very important to her, and make her feel very connected or disconnected to different objects… She has so many thoughts in her head, but cannot get them out verbally. This makes many of the people around her think that she does not have complex thoughts, which is a gross misconception…she struggles with this throughout the rest of her life, people requiring things of her that she cannot outwardly portray… Says Zoe Gelinas, student at Lesley College, who read UTBM as an assignment