Most helpful critical review
39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
gripping profiles, badly edited
on May 18, 2004
I bought this book out of an interest in RAD and alternative parenting/therapies. The book detailed a good deal of Nancy Thomas' strategies and frustrations, and just getting a glimpse of what happened to some of those kids made me aware and horrified.
Unfortunately, a bare glimpse was all I could get out of it. I realize that with serious subject matter, the end message can carry more weight than the way it is represented, but the format and especially the editing/writing style was highly distracting. I would gladly have reflected more on and appreciated these kids' stories and the little victories in them, particularly Beth's (which happened also to be the clearer one), but I had to dig for them in a LOT of flowery language and glaring, repeated typos ("who's" for "whose" & an apostrophe for plurals, for example.)
I would rather have read even something that sounded a bit drier than something that tried so hard to bring out the "dandelions." Good books usually use strong and concise words to carry the meaning and the sense without resorting to gushing or cliches.
If, like me, you are a reader who needs to get into the muscles of the words to read, you may be distracted by these.
A previous review compared the writing quality to that of Danielle Steele. It's not that bad, but it's close. This is only my opinion as I dislike this particular style, but if you write like a romance novelist about a serious topic, you risk romanticizing it into a "Lifetime-esque" issue when it is much more grueling than that. Others, though, might not have this problem. I guess I'm dependent on the language as well as the action to get through a story.
I really do feel for the courageous children profiled in this book, and Nancy Thomas is to be commended for her determination and longsuffering. However, I think Terena Thomas could have used an editor to make the story stronger, the words reflecting the struggle inherent in raising an emotionally troubled child. That way, this important issue could be appreciated by more people.