Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: The Son of Rage and Love by Thomas Raymond

Title: The Son of Rage and Love
Author: Thomas Raymond
Published: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Purchase: Amazon


SYNOPSIS:
12 Year-old Daniel used to run, jump, and climb on everything in sight. He played, laughed, made all kinds of noise, took things apart, and built new stuff from the pieces. Unfortunately for him, such acts of nonconformity can make inconvenient ripples on the smooth surface of wealthy suburban bliss. Years ago, Daniel was judged to have ADHD, and soon, "Pills fixed all that. They quiet most of my imagination, and the video swallows up whatever’s left."

Nowadays, Daniel just wants a little adventure, a bit of unscripted life to clear up the fog of his mundane existence. Every aspect of his life is under strict control of a narcissistic Grandmother, and the minions she hires to run the house. Disillusioned with the "remoras" who worship his mother's money and fame, and certain his older sister is becoming one of them, Daniel has all but given up hope. "I've learned not to fuss . . . A fuss is a big mistake. . . . At least I am smart enough to just take the pill and wait for the fog to roll in." But years of heavy medication coupled with long escapes into video games have turned his world to grey, blurring his perception of reality versus fantasy.

When Daniel's mother adopts a 13 year-old, free-spirited orphan, the two boys become immediate friends and allies. The absolute authority of Grandmother is finally challenged. The ensuing struggle at once gives Daniel hope, but also threatens his sanity.

The Son of Rage and Love is the intense, at times disturbing story of one boy's quest to reclaim his own mind. In a place and time where the appearance of the perfect life is more important than freedom itself, where strong will and disruptive ideas are quickly medicated into quiet indifference, Daniel and his new brother try against the odds to sever the puppet strings for good.

 REVIEW


The Son of Rage and Love delves into the mind of 12 year old Daniel. Daniel has been “diagnosed” with ADD and is subsequently given little pink pills to put him in “the fog.” Daniel’s mother is a very famous star named Maya that is frequently gone. Thus, leaving Daniel and his sister, Janey, in the hands of their manipulative grandmother. Grandmother is a super control freak that could guilt anyone into obeying her. If they don’t, then the wrath of the wooden spoon is brought down upon the offender.

Daniel accepts the fog and loses himself in his video games. His only escape from the life he does not live. Eventually, Daniel realizes that there is more to life than obeying orders and living in a fog of pink pills. Most of the turn around of Daniel’s attitude comes when his mother, Maya, adopts a 12 year old Haitian named Jean-Maurice. The energy and life that Jean-Maurice brings to the household of course disrupts Grandmother’s sense of order. This is where both the problems and the healing begin.

I found this novel to be very engaging and read it fairly quickly. Daniel was such a compelling character. His viewpoint on the world is skewed through the fog, but he never gives up trying to regain his life and enjoy his childhood. I don’t want to give the plot away, so I will just say this is a worthwhile read with touching (and some irritating) characters. The plot flowed effortlessly and of course, I adore happy endings. The only problem I had was that my copy was a PDF, so I couldn’t Highlight on my Kindle. And there were so many great quotes in this book that it drove me nuts.

I received this book from the author, Thomas Raymond, in exchange for an honest review. I am so very glad he contacted me or I never would have found this moving novel.

5 stars to The Son of Rage and Love for a thought provoking piece of literature.
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