Books, Gardens, Dogs

The Kingdom of Childhood

The Kingdom of Childhood - Rebecca Coleman Judy McFarland had a difficult childhood and her perceptions of appropriate relations has been skewed a bit by the past. She initiates an affair with a sixteen year old Zach, who is the same age as her own son, Scott. The story is told by flashbacks of her childhood, her point of view and that of Zach's. The story combines elements of Mary Kay Latourneau's story, a decidedly different school atmosphere of the Waldorf movement and weaves in the current affairs of the Clinton - Lewinsky scandal. McFarland's own marriage is on the rocks and she seeks refuge and distraction in the arms of Zach, who like most boys his age is flattered by the attention. While at times difficult to read, it will make you question if there was actually a crime committed by this teacher and if she really did take advantage of a student. I know when I was in high school, these affairs were not unheard of and were mostly ignored. The age difference is celebrated between and older man and younger girl, so it really points out the discrimination when the sexes are reversed. Reading this is like watching an accident occurring, you just can't look away, you must continue to the very end even if it is very disturbing. Coleman does a wonderful job of creating the tension and ends everything with a surprise...something I would never have guessed. I can see this being perfect for a book group since it will provoke many heated discussions about what is right and wrong.

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