A New York Times Top 10 Book of the YearThe Boy in the Moon is Ian Brown’s emotionally complicated memoir of raising his son, Walker—one of only a few hundred people worldwide who live with an extremely rare genetic mutation.Born with CFC (cardiofaciocutaneous) syndrome, Walker Brown is a mystery, as remote to his family as the moon. Unable to speak or swallow, compelled to hit himself, requiring surgeries, and round-the-clock care, he becomes the focus of his father’s keen intelligence. An investigative journalist, Ian Brown traveled the globe, meeting with genetic scientists and neurologists as well as parents of similar children, seeking ways to reach—and perhaps cure—his son. As Brown becomes part of a community of families, he lets go of his self-blame and his desire to “fix” Walker, learning to accept the boy he loves, just as he is.
Ian Brown is an author and a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. The Boy in the Moon has won three of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards: the Charles Taylor Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the British Columbia National Book Award for Canadian non-fiction.
For the first eight years of Walker’s life, every night is the same. The same routine of tiny details, connected in precise order, each mundane, each crucial.
The routine makes the eight years seem long, almost endless, until I try to think about them afterwards, and then eight years evaporate to nothing, because nothing has changed.
Tonight I wake up in the dark to a steady, motorized noise.