I'm participating in the Social Justice Challenge this year.
Click here to find out more.
The topic for March is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.
The book that I read for this month is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.
I have already had this to say about it.
From the back of the book: "At a suburban barbeque, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, friends and relatives, who are all directly or indirectly influenced by the slap...What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting loyalties - that family can arouse..."
This book is not, by any means, an easy read. In fact, I found it incredibly disturbing, and the slap itself was the least of it. There is a lot of anger expressed in this book; a great deal of foul language, violent sex and drug-taking. The characters are well drawn, and realistic, but are like nobody I know in my world.
Despite the difficulty of reading this, I did feel it was a valuable catalyst for thinking about child abuse, particularly opening up the issue of the fine line between discipline using corporal punishment, and abuse.
I also found the dissection of family relationships and loyalties fascinating.
Unfortunately, I didn't feel that this book came to a satisfying conclusion. I didn't feel a sense of hope at the end of it. However, if you're stout of heart, and it interests you, then I think you find it provides plenty of food for thought.