Book Club member reviews: Standard Deviation

December’s Book of the Month was Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny. Read what our Trusted Reviewers thought below!


‘This was a very different book that I wouldn’t usually have been drawn to. So glad you had it as the month’s book because it was very good. I loved Matthew’s character, the origami, the food preferences just all the small details which made it so captivating.’


A word from Trusted Reviewer, Beverly Curry:

‘You really cannot judge another person’s behaviour, another person’s life until you have lived it, as the saying goes and I feel I have walked in the shoes of these characters ad now benefit from a much better understanding of the very real difficulties parenthood, of special needs children in particular is and the life long effect that a condition such as autism has on a family unit. Read More

As a mother I know that any pain or unhappiness my son has suffered in his life, I have suffered with him, willing the pain to be transferred onto my shoulders so that he wouldn’t have to bear it and I empathise so strongly with Graham and Audra and their many heart wrenching conversations. Like the one where they are delighted that Matthew has fitted in with this odd origami group, yet equally worried that he had: Audra: “Promise me we won’t let Matthew turn out like those men,” she whispered, “and if he does, we we’ll still love him anyway”.’  


Which part did you find the funniest?

‘It was all humorous. I did enjoy parts with Graham’s secretary Olivia. So naive! Wishing there was a machine that cooked rice for you, overweight luggage. Just the rather sweet relationship between them.’ – Trusted Reviewer, Valerie Hurry

‘It’s very difficult to pick one particular part but I would have to say that all the scenes with the Origami Club were hilarious but still with that lovely touch of pathos that runs through the book at a whole.’ – Trusted Reviewer, Leonie Burke


‘The visit to the Origami club, meeting the members, especially Clayton and his wife who was so in control of all of the eccentricities of the small group.I was reading this section in bed and interrupted my husband’s reading in order to read this section to him and we were both laughing out loud as I read it. Read More

The members are all middle aged men yet the young Matthew fits right in and makes conversation naturally, a rare thing. One member was complaining:” ‘So my mother’s having her garden club over to lunch,’ Alan said, ‘ and she wants me to fold all their napkins into hydrangeas, and I say, ‘Fujimoto’s Hydrangeas? You want me to make six Fujimoto’s Hydrangeas? Out of napkins? and she says yes and I say,’Napkins that these ladies are all just going to shake open and wipe their mouths with? ‘ and she says yes and I say, ‘Do you have any idea, any real idea, how difficult it is to fold a tesselation?’ and she says, do you have any real idea how difficult labor and delivery are?'” Sums it up beautifully!’ – Trusted Reviewer, Beverly Curry 


Who was your favourite character?

Our Trusted Reviewers loved Graham, Matthew, Audra and Elspeth most.

Here’s what Trusted Reviewer, Leonie Burke, thought about Audra:

‘If anything is a marvel, it’s the incredible Audra, a force of nature like no other! I started off thinking Audra was possibly the most annoying woman in the world, but as different aspects of her character were revealed I think I fell a little bit in love with her.’


‘How such an annoying and irritating character as Audra can worm her way into your heart is a testament to the incredible skill of Katherine Heiny.’


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