Touched by Scott C.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I didn't know what to expect going in to this book. Was it a thriller, a drama, was the guy guilty, didn't know. Turns out the book is a very straight-forward and believable portrait of a man and boy relationship.
What I liked about the book is that it was well-rounded, all the sides were presented and the four sides were presented unslanted. Everyone in the story did something wrong, and there was no attempt to hide that, but at the same time it wasn't glorified. People do things that are wrong all the time.
The interesting thing for me was the grey area of the whole situation. I feel that pedophilia has become the witch hunt of our times, and the witch hunt is doing more harm than good. I was dating a guy who lived in a different country from his daughter and missed her very much. He inquired about a job at a day care and was told no single man was ever going to get that job, and it’s a shame. These kids are missing out on something and so is he. There seems to be an attitude of men all being sex-fiends and women having to clutch them to their bosom for protection 24/7 and that is not good.
The boy in this story was 12, still a child, but also capable of having sexual feelings, like most kids do. I know I did. So is this relationship with the man the worst thing that could happen? More to the point, is it worse than the aftermath of the trial and the whole town knowing?
At the same time, there were holes in the perpetrators judgment you could drive a truck through. How could you “love” someone only at a certain age? What happens when they get older? And how do you “love” someone who isn’t fully developed, who is so pliable that you can mold them with the slightest contact? And there is a responsibility with that power.
I’m reminded of The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault and the boy-love practiced in ancient Greece. It’s something that’s been around for at least thousands of years, and I don’t know that moral outrage is the key to stopping it. There seems to be a reluctance with this topic to talk about actualities instead of ideals.
This all being said, I felt the book was slow in parts. I felt the plot other than the touching was nonexistent, that the part from the wife’s perspective was the weakest and went on too long. I didn’t care about her time in the moonlight with the perpetrator. The guys three daughters were so stiff they could have been called cardboard one, two and three. Also I read the author on Amazon say this was made into a play, I don’t know who the audience for that would be. I don’t know who the audience for this book would be really, there’s such a moral outcry against this topic that any slightly impartial viewpoint would be crucified.
Good enough book, didn’t change my life.
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