Last week, I saw a new film, The Kid with a Bike, which I loved. Here’s what I wrote about it when I posted on my Facebook page:
A disturbing, powerful, and ultimately hopeful movie, about a boy abandoned by his dad (no mention of his mother; maybe there, but I didn’t catch it), living in a group home, who is eventually fostered by a single woman, a hairdresser, and preyed upon by a local tough. Addresses hard issues like attachment, loss, and parenting the hurt child. Watch the trailer and see it if you can. In French.
I recently finished Lorrie Moore’s book, A Gate at the Stairs (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009 and Vintage Contemporaries, 2010). The New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, among many other publications, named A Gate at the Stairs one of the ”Best Books of the Year.” Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review.
However, according to reviews posted on Amazon, readers’ reactions vary widely, with about the same number of people giving the book five stars as gave it one. One of my friends, a voracious reader, hated the book, or more specifically, hated the depiction of one of the main characters, Sarah Brink. (Sarah, like author Lorrie Moore, is an adoptive mother.) I must confess that at first I didn’t much like Sarah, either–her character seemed brittle, aloof, and self-centered–but by the end of the book, I understood her, and with understanding came deep admiration and empathy. A few weeks later, Sarah Brink still haunts me, which is why I’m recommending the book now. But be warned, A Gate at the Stairs is not a particularly fun or easy read.
My goal for 2012 is to read more books. If I find any other great ones that feature adoption themes, I’ll let you know.