Top positive review
The best possible ending
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2014
The first book in this series haunted me. The second destroyed me. The third gave me hope. And this last book released me. There are so many things these books say about what defines life and where the soul lives and how easily the masses can delude themselves--ourselves--into believing anything is okay if it comes to easing our fear. There's enough substance in these four books to fuel any number of debates for years. But the most profound yet subtle idea these books crack open is the almost universal fear parents have of their children. Whether it's the toddler who throws a tantrum at all the wrong times or the six year old who refuses to bathe or the ten year old who decides to start calling you by your first name instead of mom or dad or the fifteen year old you find out is sexually active or the seventeen year old who may not graduate from high school because of bad grades and apathy about that imminent failure--our children commit endless insults to our pride throughout their childhood and adolescence. In ten years these "crimes" will matter little. The toddler learns self control, the ten year old cries out for "Daddy!" after a fearful nightmare, the fifteen year old grows into a wise young parent and the seventeen year old becomes an entrepreneur. But we parents don't see the brighter future that may lay around the bend because our children bombard us and reflect back to us our most troubling inadequacies. Where did we go wrong? Why is our child like this? We failed. And that angers us. We don't see the 60% that is successful parenting reflected in them or the 30% that is every child's need to set themselves apart from his parents because growing up means growing away. Too often we only see the 10% that are our failings as parents. And in that anger how many of us have thought, "This kid is hopeless. I want to murder that little brat." And what if someone convinced you that you could get rid of that reflection of your failings and still be considered a good parent? In the darkest days of parenting, when you are overwhelmed with the ways in which you have failed this child, if someone came and took him and you could have peace, would you sign on the dotted line? Absolutely not, right? How many of you reading these books felt certain people deserved to be unwound...Roland? Starkey? Nelson, who received no anesthesia for his crimes? Did you see it as justice? Are you absolutely sure you would not sign that dotted line? We fear for our children all the time but there are also plenty of times we fear for ourselves because of our children. This book series takes that shameful fear and shows what can happen when we collectively decide to look the other way so that we can feel "safe" again.