Friday, September 23, 2011

The Last Child

I must apologize that I am no longer able to put the amazon associates link here on my blog. Not sure why and I am not technically savvy enough to fix it.

I picked up The Last Child at a Scholastic book fair at my child's school last year. It sat on the shelf for almost a year before I finally took it with me on my vacation in September. I wish I had left it there! This was not a book I enjoyed or would recommend. It was too sad and dark.

I am struggling with how to label this book. Possibly somewhere between fictional true-crime and horror. The Last Child is about a boy, Johnny, whose twin disappeared a couple of years ago and whose father left him and his mother not long afterwards. The mother has turned to drugs and has an abusive boyfriend who also happens to be married and a powerful man in the town. The boy has been trying to solve his sister's disappearance. In the meantime, the real detective, Clyde Hunt, has fixated on this case and also has romantic inclinations towards the boy's mother.

I found it difficult to really like any of the characters and the supporting characters were too weird to relate to as well. There was an overriding sense of hopelessness and a dark feeling that most adults were some kind of pervert. And, even in a small town, when yet another body showed up the police had enough staff and equipment to set up another crime scene. Would have been more realistic if they complained that they had to call in more than the sheriff's department to help out. In addition, I kept hoping for a somewhat happy ending but it did not feel all that happy. I was just relieved to be done with the book.

What did this book have to do with my faith? Johnny talks about the fact that when his sister first disappeared he prayed to God but God didn't answer. So, he figured he would appeal to some “older” gods. He ends up doing some strange things with fire and chickens. In the meantime, a mentally challenged minor character hears from God all the time and does as he understands God asking him to do. All in all, I got the overwhelming feeling that Hart has some issues with God. I think it has to do with the fact that people expect God to be the big genie in the sky that is going to give us what we want and keep us from suffering. However, when you look at God's own son, you see someone who asked that the cup be passed from him but accepted God's will and suffered on our behalf. God is not going to remove suffering from our lives but God does give us the means and ways to deal with it. Expecting God to just take it away does not fit with God's will.

I hope you have fun reading some less dark novels. Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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