- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I have so much to say about this book, I don’t even know where to start. Mostly it’s about my opinion about Justin’s whole situation and how I feel about the welfare system, more than it is about the book.
Firstly, I have to say I hugely admire the patience which Casey and Mike had in dealing with Justin and his outbursts and general terrible behaviour. Though, I don’t think Casey is as noble as she makes out to be. The start of the book (after the first chapter), as well as throughout, it annoyed me how often Casey makes Justin’s story about herself, her feelings, how well (or not) she deals with his behaviour, how wonderful her husband and kids are, what a hyperactive person she is,etc, etc, and how often she pats herself on the back for a job she feels she did well. To me, it took a lot of the focus off Justin when I had to sit through pages of Casey either beating herself up about how she dealt with a situation (but then more pages on EVERYONE else telling her how well she dealt with it), or her feeling terrific about calming Justin down, encouraging him, and so on (which I applaud, but don’t feel like having her analyse herself for pages on end).
You see, I’ve read quite a few of Cathy Glass’s books, and she has such a humble way of telling her stories about children she fostered, without placing too much focus on herself or her family. She includes her feelings and her kids in her stories, but doesn’t constantly tell the reader how perfect her family is, or talk too much about herself and her perfect home. She shares her hands-on techniques and thus I always feel I can learn something from her. I also feel welcome in her home through her books, as I already know her routines and what to expect from the way she runs her household. So yes, I’ve seen this in another of Casey Watson’s books that I’ve read, and it also bothered me then, how she makes the story about herself and her perfect children.
Also, all the grammar errors in this book were very annoying.
Justin is a very disturbed child and I felt sorry for him. I detested what his mother did to him and his siblings. As a mother of two, it broke my heart over and over again each time his mother let him down or hurled abuse at him. Honestly though, for all my griping earlier in my review, I must admit that I admire people like the Watsons who open their home to such a badly damaged child, and who see it through all the way to his next placement. I would never be able to put up with the behaviour of such a child, his background notwithstanding.
I felt that the welfare system let Justin down badly (no surprises there). Justin needed more than the Watson’s help. He needed a psychologist, counselling and therapy, and I was quite surprised that no-one suggested it. Anger management classes aren’t enough for a child such as Justin. Even at the end of the book Casey admits that at seventeen Justin is still not a well-adjusted child; now living in a children’s home, working as a gardener. I just can’t imagine there is much of a future for him. How will he be treating his own wife and children? Is he still abusing animals like he did with Kieron’s dog? Is he still taking pleasure in holding little children’s heads under water? This kid needed serious help; much more than a points system used by the Watsons could offer him. I viewed it as a temporary Band-Aid to improve his behaviour while he’s living with them, but how did it help him after he left their home?Clearly, it made very little difference once moved on.
I think as much as Casey sugar-coated the ending, the fact that Justin’s last placement didn’t work after two years tells me that he needed more than what the Watsons could offer him, but that he was failed by, firstly, his mother, and then by a welfare system that didn’t afford him the psychological help he needed. I also didn’t buy that when they were on vacation, and Justin ran into a palm tree, his behaviour changed for the better, for the rest of their vacation (after a horrendous start). Was slamming into a palm tree really all it took to set him straight? I can’t help thinking what that suggests.
It was a good read seeing how the Watsons opened their home and their hearts to him. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down until I had finished, and read into the morning hours. The ending just left me feeling sad; though Casey and her family did all they could for Justin. What a miserable state our world is in, knowing that this sort of bad “parenting” (such as what we see with Justin’s mother and many others like her) will continue through generations onwards.