Author: Rebecca Coleman
Publisher: MIRA Books
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. As the walls close in, Zach finds himself needing to disentangle himself from premature adulthood. but the lines between adult and child have blurred, and life and sanity are unraveling faster and further than anyone could ever have imagined.
My thoughts: This was a disturbing book to read. Like a car wreck that you can't look away from, I found it hard to put this book down. We slowly learn about Judy's past throughout the book, and the secrets that she has either been keeping or repressed from her childhood. Born into a dysfunctional family, I was surprised that she kept things together for as long as she did before she began to spiral out of control.
I did feel sorry for Zach in the book. He may have helped instigate the relationship, but it should have been Judy, as the adult, who behaved appropriately and didn't pursue it. She was definitely out of control mentally, and being a mom to two teen girls I couldn't even imagine having a relationship with any of their friends! Rebecca Coleman did a great job in portraying both Judy and her mental instability and the feelings that Zach was having as a teenager in a relationship in which he didn't belong. I highly recommend this book to all readers!
~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Meryl L. Moss Media in exchange for my review.~
Publisher/Publication Date: MIRA Books, Oct 2011