The Kingdom of Childhood is thought provoking and often difficult to read. It is one of those books that will stir passionate discussions with no clear winner, while exploring a topic that has been prominent in recent headlines.
I can’t say that I enjoyed The Kingdom of Childhood. It is well written and the author has a beautiful ability to both draw you into a scene and repel you at the same time.
Initially I was sympathetic to Judy. I felt her despair at the direction of her life and family. Judy’s whole life is nothing but an illusion, all bright and shiny from the outside but sick and twisted on the inside. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly disenchanted with her.
In order to fill the lonely void of her life, Judy becomes involved with a friend of her son, Zach, who is sixteen years old. This is where the book became uncomfortable for me and I have to admit that I had a very difficult time reading the rest. The subject of an adult who is in a role of trust and a young adult is personally one that I do cannot excuse under any circumstances.
Ms. Coleman explore the backgrounds of both Zach and Judy. Judy’s upbringing and experience as a youngster are particularly revealing. My heart went out to her for her lost innocence. However, in the end I could not excuse Judy’s actions, even though there were events in her background that influenced her. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this book, I can’t say that I liked it, but it is very thought provoking and does explore this issues in a different manner than previous books. The Kingdom of Childhood will definitely leave you thinking about it long after you are finished.