Thursday, 6 March 2014

BLOOD FAMILY

BLOOD FAMILY by Anne Fine

The pain in your past never goes.
It’s always there in the background,
like a lurking enemy, waiting to trip you up.
Or worse, waiting for you to trip yourself.


Eddie is seven when rescued from years of neglect. Hidden away, no one has seen him leave the flat for over three years. What sort of person hides their child away? What sort of person puts up with continual physical abuse from an alcoholic partner?

The answer is Eddie’s mother.

Finally he is given the chance of a real life. Taken into foster care and then adopted it is hoped that Eddie now known as Edward will be able to lead a normal life. But the years of emotional damage have taken their toll. He struggles to fit in, struggles to have a ‘normal’ life.

One day Edward sees a photograph of himself, horrified to see the monster Harris’s face. Does this mean that blood will always tell? That he too will turn into an abusive animal?

I don’t like happy ever after stories. I like darkness and sharpness….this book has it all. Fine does a great job of taking the reader to  untangle Edward’s life. The change of point of view is an intriguing way of offering up information that the central character, Edward, has no way of knowing.

We see his life from his foster parent’s point of view, as well as his adoptive parents, but we also dip into that of his adopted sister, the nurse at the hospital, his school teacher, class mate, social worker, psychotherapist.

And finally we understand Edward’s struggle and hope he discovers that blood doesn’t always make family.

Vicki @ Pak​

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