St. Martin's Griffin
A New York Times Top 10 Book of the Year
The 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.
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. Something wrong with the water heater. Nnngah. Pause. Nnngah. Nnngah.
But it’s not the water heater. It’s my boy, Walker, grunting as
“A stark, lovely memoir…fiercely plainspoken and lyrical”--The Boston Globe
“Brown presents a moving and deeply felt account of his life with his son Walker, who is one of fewer than 300 people in the world who were born with CFC, cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome…the book describes Brown’s fascinating worldwide investigations into the various living situations offered to people with CFC as well as his visits with other families whose children have CFC.”--Publishers Weekly
“[An] intimate glimpse into the life of a family that cares around the clock for a mysterious, profoundly disabled child, that gets so close to the love and despair, and the complex questions the life of such a child raises...It is a beautiful book, heartfelt and profound, warm and wise.”--Jane Bernstein, author of Loving Rachel and Rachel in the World
A Father's Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son