Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scavenger Hunt & Review: The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman

The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: October 2011
Paperback, 352 pages 
 ISBN: 978-0778312789
I'm the next stop on The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations (Media Muscle).  First check out the next part of the excerpt, the next tour stop and then check out my review of this very interesting book.

I turned the car into the deserted lot next to the lake and parked toward the back, near
the woods. I laid a hand on his thigh and said, "Hey."
He turned his face toward me.
"Why are you so moody?"
"Because thinking about cops and babies doesn't turn me on."
"Is something else the matter?"

*Head over to Urban Girl Reader on October 17th for the next installment from THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD*

My Review:
The Kingdom of Childhood definitely deals with a difficult subject and Ms. Coleman definitely never in any way sugar coats this situation.  I admire her for tackling this situation in a book and in a realistic manner.  And I think that is what is key and captivating about this book is the realistic look of the plot.

As you can read from the overview of the book, the storyline is essentially about an inappropriate relationship between a teacher at a school and a student (who is not her student) who is 16.  The relationship is consensual, but is still wrong since the teacher is in her forties and the teenager is underage, making it statutory rape.  Thankfully there is never that "ick" factor in the book, I mean you know that it's wrong, and you accept it's wrong, but since Ms. Coleman never tries to make it right you don't feel like it's "icky".

As characters by themselves  I liked Judy and Zach.  I felt for Judy and her dissolving marriage.  Her husband is busy pursuing a PhD and has little time for her and she is feeling the pain from that and pretty much counting the days until her youngest graduates.  Zach seems like a pretty good kid, he's a new kid at school and he's just trying to fit in with the people he's in choir with, one of whom happens to be Scott, Judy's son, which is how he meets Judy.  Zach comes off crass at first with his jokes and then he's assigned to work with Judy to get some extra hours by working on the bazaar she heads up.  This is what throws Judy and Zach together.

Their first kiss is almost by accident.  As is their second and then they can't seem to get enough.  But then the power shifts between them and to Judy it seems that Zach has all the power and to Zach it seems that Judy has all the power.  There is definitely no love and the relationship is purely based on sex.  But people are starting to notice.  Things begin to get dicey and the book gets even more interesting.  You want more details, read the book.

The Kingdom of Childhood is even more than the description above.  It is about what is going on in Judy and Zach's heads and a few of the people around them as well.  I fund it a fascinating story that I could not put down.  It's like a train wreck that you cannot look away.  If you ever wanted a look at the real motives at how something like this could happen, read this and you can get a good feel.

I knew i wanted to read this from the start, but I didn't know I would enjoy this book this much.  It was a true eye-opener and thrill ride from beginning to end.  Ms. Coleman knows how to capture your attention keep it and leave you just right at the end.  I look forward to future books by her.  But until then I know The Kingdom of Childhood will stick in my brain for quite a while.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

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.

About the Author: 
Rebecca Coleman received her B.A. in English literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and speaks to writers' groups on the subjects of creative writing and publishing. A native New Yorker, she now lives and works near Washington, D.C.


***I received this book from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for an honest review. ***