Thursday, 17 May 2012

Books Read: Rebecca Coleman - The Kingdom of Childhood

Source - Received from PR company to review

'It's the job of adults to teach teenagers to be responsible.  That's what grown-ups do.'

You've fallen for your son's best friend.  You are a teacher.

You are abusing your power, your responsibility ... your student.

You know it's wrong.  But you cannot stop.

I suppose in the beginning it was a love story.

I'd like to thank Midas PR for sending me a copy of this book to review as this is a book that I probably wouldn't have picked up to read. This debut novel from Rebecca Coleman certainly doesn't hold back on tackling such a controversial topic about a forbidden relationship between an older woman and a teenager.

Judy is a forty-something kindergarten teacher at an exclusive Waldorf school but things are not exactly rosy in her life, the school is suffering financially so her job could be under threat, she's stuck in a stale marriage to husband Phil, who's dealing with his own addiction to pain medication and is studying for his PhD, and she's having to accept that her children are growing up fast and no longer need her constant support.

Meanwhile Zach has his own issues, trying to fit into a new school following a recent move to the town with his parents, and trying to forgive his mother for her affair that threaten his parents marriage and having to accept that he'll soon have a new baby sister.

When Zach's mother asks Judy to supervise him whilst he earns some service hours by making a playhouse to the auctioned for the school she reluctantly agrees.  After spending many hours together they start to learn about each others lives and when Zach attempts to kiss her she's shocked but soon she is unable to resist his advances despite knowing what they're doing is wrong. 

Despite Zach making the initial move it's soon Judy calling all the shots and she doesn't seem to care that what they're doing could have devastating effects on the lives of all those closest to them. 

I have to confess I did find the regular flashbacks to Judy's childhood in Germany a bit much, this could probably have been done in one chapter to make us understand how this has had an impact on her life and perspective of relationships.   As for the ending, despite the build up I actually found it to be a bit of an anti-climax.

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