Reviews

The Kindness of Strangers – Katrina Kittle

A sensitively written but deeply uncomfortable story dealing with paedophiles and child sexual abuse.  A powerful and thought provoking book.

Book Blurb:  A young widow raising two boys, Sarah Laden is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another troubled young boy into her already tumultuous life.

Jordan, a quiet, reclusive elementary school classmate of Sarah’s son Danny, has survived a terrible ordeal. By agreeing to become Jordan’s foster mother, Sarah will be forced to question the things she has long believed. And as the delicate threads that bind their family begin to unravel, all the Ladens will have to face difficult truths about themselves and one another–and discover the power of love necessary to forgive and to heal.

My Review:  This is not an easy book to review. It’s also a difficult book to read due to the subject matter. Without giving away any spoilers the story revolves around incest, child abuse and paedophiles (which was surprise to me as I started it on an aeroplane journey so couldn’t read the blurb before hand!). It’s painful and uncomfortable to read especially the 11 year old boy, Jordan, chapters. However it is gripping and the author covers this horrific subject with sensitivity and compassion. Told from several family members points of view – The Kindness of Strangers will remain in your thoughts for a long time after finishing it

About The Author: Katrina was born in Illinois but has lived in the Dayton area since first grade, (except for her Year as a Gypsy). She attended Ohio University and was Outstanding Graduating Senior for both the English and Education departments. She taught high school English and theatre at Centerville High School for five years, and she taught middle school English and theatre at the Miami Valley School for six. She has also worked as a house cleaner, a veterinary assistant, a children’s theatre director, a costumer, and as case management support for the AIDS Resource Center (now renamed Equitas).

Katrina is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers, and The Blessings of the Animals, all with HarperPerennial. The Kindness of Strangers was a BookSense pick and the winner of the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. Early chapters from that novel earned her grants from both the Ohio Arts Council and Culture Works. The Blessings of the Animals was an Indie Next pick (August 2010), a Midwest Connections pick (September 2010), and chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as one of ten Great Group Reads for National Book Group Month (October 2010). Katrina’s first tween novel, Reasons to Be Happy, was published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in October 2011.

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