Title: The Kingdom of Childhood
Author: Rebecca Coleman
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Pub Date: September 2011
Source: I received a copy from the publisher/Meryl Moss Media for my review and blog tour participation.
About the book:
The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman: sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother’s extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zach the elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is–for Judy–only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.
Rebecca Coleman’s manuscript for The Kingdom of Childhood was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. An emotionally tense, increasingly chilling work of fiction set in the controversial Waldorf school community, it is equal parts enchanting and unsettling and is sure to be a much discussed and much-debated novel.
When I first heard about The Kingdom of Childhood I was curious to read it and even more so to find out what exactly the Waldorf School is. I was surprised to find out that here in Quebec there is actually a Waldorf School here. When I searched further I found one right here in Montreal.
So in case you are like me and have no clue about Waldorf Schools, let me explain that it was
developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919. A Waldorf education is based on knowledge of child development whose needs change from childhood to adolescence. Waldorf teachers aim to transform education into an art to educate the complete being – thinking, feeling and will.
I have to say it was very interesting what I read.
Judy is one of the main characters in the book and she grew up in a military family living in Germany. When she was older she moved back to the US, got married, had two kids and started to teach kindergarten at a Steiner Waldorf school. Up until the book starts you presume that Judy is having the ideal life but as the story progress you quickly see that her live isn’t so.
Judy is feeling very lonely because her daughter is off at college, her son is in his last year of high school & busy with his girlfriend and her husband is busy trying to get his doctoral dissertation so he is always busy. So through this you see that Judy isn’t happy, she realizes her marriage is failing, she is still grieving the loss of her best friend and she is feeling alone.
Then enter Zach. He is sixteen, lonely, getting use to a new town and school and is trying to deal with the fact that his mother is pregnant and they moved because of her affair. The affair between Zach and Judy is slow at first its like they both are testing the water before going in. They both know its wrong but risk it all just the same because its exciting and thrilling. They are both there for each other when they just need the love and getting over the loneliness. Although as time progresses you see that they are both struggling with it and its Zach that wants to end it because he knows its wrong.
As I was reading this I couldn’t help but feel for both of these characters because they both just wanted to be loved and felt wanted. They could be anyone you know.
When you look back onto the story you realize how much it could be a real life story. You hear of this happening all the time and as a person and perhaps a parent you wonder how this could happen. I know I struggle with this as a parent.
I have to say that I did struggle through the book because I found personally for me it it seemed to start off a little slow and then there would be something happening that peaked my interested and it seemed to go up and down. The book is told in the past when Judy lived in Germany and the present and this didn’t bother me because it was nice to get a little history into Judy and what made Judy not think twice about going into a relationship with Zach.
This is Rebecca Coleman debut novel.
Thanks to Book Trib Blog Tour for allowing me to be a part of this tour. You can click on Book Trib to find out the other blog stops the tour has made and is making.
Following is my excerpt and my part of the scavenger hunt:
I turned into the school parking lot, but it was still full of cars from extracurriculars. “I forgot about that,” I said. “Damn.”
“It’s not a good night for it anyway,” Zach said. “I’ve got a lot of
homework tonight, seriously. And I’m out of condoms.”
*Head over to Good Books and Good Wine on 10/4 for the next installment from THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD*
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