APRIL is STOP CHILD ABUSE MONTH
1930 Colonial PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children#review
by Jim Goforth Anybody can write a book featuring a dashing leading man, a triumphant hero, or a classy leading lady, a strong resilient heroine, but what about those people society sweeps under the rug, the downtrodden, the unusual, the lost and forgotten children?
Susan Tarr’s gripping and poignant masterpiece ‘Phenomena: The Lost and Forgotten Children’ forgoes all those traditionally recognized central focus characters in favor of shining a light upon those who won’t get a chance to become the classic hero so often fawned over.
This grand, and occasionally very bleak, piece of work is the tale of Malcolm, a poor fellow who spends his life growing up institutionalized in an asylum in the 1930s in New Zealand. Though this enthralling account of Malcolm has essentially been fictionalized, it draws from very true facts and situations, and essentially it isn’t merely highlighting the intriguing, but often gloomy existence of our central figure, but also the whole environment he lives in and how institutions of this sort have altered over the years.
The writing is crisp and concise, and woven together with adept skill, the characters wonderfully realized and portrayed, and they will elicit a wide array of responses from the reader, ranging from the thrilled to the grief-stricken, and in some instances you may be truly disgusted by some of the actions, but unable to stop yourself from laughing. There is such a classic moment relayed in here which fits this category well, but I certainly won’t reveal it, you will know what I speak of when you read it.
As a general rule this type of book would not be in my usual span of genres, but I can say without hesitation that I’m supremely glad I read it and better for the experience.
This is touching, it is uplifting, emotive and of course, also incredibly melancholy in places too, as one can well imagine how primitive methods of treating and dealing with institutionalized souls were back in the early days of the twentieth century. If not for the adroit skills of the author at being able to temper the mood where required, with sufficient splashes of humorous narrative, this could have become an extremely austere and depressing tome, but instead, it becomes a wonderful achievement that allows Malcolm to become a hero in his own right.
'PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children' is a triumph. Read it, no matter what your ordinary choice of reading material is.You will be enriched by it.http://goo.gl/yDwM2h
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