This is a bizarre little book. It revolves around a family of four daughters and one son. The father catches the son masturbating and drags him out of the house and beats him. The neighbors all stare, their eyes glued to the dusty glass of their windows. They stare and stare and are so dumbfounded by the extreme form of punishment the boy is subjected to that they start making up stories about what the boy must have really done to deserve such a lashing. They speculate that he must have tried to rape one of his sisters, and that’s what really sparked this outrage. The mother is helpless, and is forced to restrain herself from coming to her son’s aid for fear of getting beaten herself. The story is told from the perspective of one of the sisters, who chronicles how the life of the family changes with and without her brother in the picture. I was touched at the plight of the boy as his childhood experiences haunted him into his adult life. As harrowing as the tale was, it would have been a much more satisfying read if the writing style was better. Even though the story was told in first person narrative, i was drawn in more because of the events that occurred, not because of the author’s syntax which could have used some variation.

Cross posted here