Thursday, March 25, 2010

Social Justice Challenge - Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

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.

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