UPDATE: The author has contacted me to politely inform me that he did indeed have sensitivity editors, several specialists in the field of autism and one on the spectrum, as well as a Cherokee native. He was highly professional in his response.
This book started out promising, with a quirky main character who falls Forest Gump-like into fame as a photographer of Civil War battles. When he meets his soulmate, a young woman dressing as a man for her job as embalmer and also because it suits her, it feels fateful. However, Lou, who has been diagnosed with a “syndrome,” and Osborn, who appears to have the same “syndrome,” come across as childlike if not cartoonish / buffoonish, and it’s harmful to people who are on the spectrum. The author throws in the token black, the token Native American, etc. I finished the book because it was a compelling storyline otherwise, and I wanted to give an informed review. To make matters worse, the ending is super creepy. I don’t need to relate to a character to appreciate a good tale, but I expect this character was meant to be endearing, not criminal (I suspect it was intended to be romantic, but no, it was not). Also, NetGalley does not provide the information that books are part of a series. Morgan is a great storyteller, if he could toss the stereotypes out of his storyline, maybe by investing in a sensitivity editor. I received a digital copy from the author through NetGalley.