Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another Forgotten Child, by Cathy Glass

Despite the fact that she has been on a child protection "watch list" since birth, Aimee has suffered severe abuse, neglect, and molestation in her 8 years on earth.  Child protective services removes her from her mother's care and places her in foster care, with a care worker named Cathy Glass.  Cathy works hard to help Aimee adapt to a healthy, safe life, to make educational strides, and to begin putting together the fragments of a normal life.  Aimee's mother continues to make this difficult, however.  What does the future hold for poor Aimee?

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book, and I am still processing through most of them.  In general, this type of book, dubbed the "misery memoir" genre, is difficult to read.  Books dealing with the physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse of a child are extremely difficult to read, and it is hard to feel as if you "like" these kinds of books.  Yet this is the reality of life for so many children, and it is important that these stories get told.  I, personally, am more comfortable when the story is told by the victims themselves, as opposed to someone charged with their care, but perhaps these victims are not in a position to tell their own story.

The book is written under a pseudonym, and personal details have been changed.  I suspect, as well, that some literary liberties have been taken for the sake of the writing.  I find Aimee a fascinating character, but for a girl who is described as such a spitfire, she was much more compliant than I would have expected her to be, and certainly more compliant that any children I have ever encountered in protective custody.  It is sad to think that an 8 year old child has never had a hot bath, does not know basic self care skills, and is so terribly delayed academically, all because of parental neglect, yet I know this is the sad reality for so many children.

In general, the book was pretty engaging.  The writing style makes the book easy to read; before I knew it I was halfway finished with the book.  And in some ways, the book is very inspiring, knowing that these poor children can go on to have happy and healthy lives.  However, I would have a difficult time reading too many of these types of books.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

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