"Dear Mum, it read, I am sorry for my life. I never meant to hurt you and I love you with a big heart. I want you to kiss me when my dad isn't looking so he doesn't think I'm a girl's blouse. I promise I'll let you kiss me. Casey and Mike are fixing me into a proper good kid like our Lewis. When can I come home, Mum? Love for ever and ever, Spencer xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx."
TLC Book Tours asked me to do a book review for Casey Watson's, Too Hurt to Stay. A true story of a troubled foster kid's journey to family. Before I dig into it, here's the book trailer:
Here's the thing. The story is gripping.
I read it in two days flat. Casey's writing is raw and genuine; there's not a lot of fluff. At first I was turned off by it and couldn't place the disconnect, until I realized our international differences. Casey is from the UK and her rhythm of words, not to mention some of the terms used, were puzzling at times.
There is some language in the book, but I didn't find it offensive, as it fit within the story.
It's hard to give a strong recommendation for the book because the content is so heavy. The ending isn't magical...it's real life. Casey and her husband are heroic in my opinion. They foster high risk kids for short periods of time, preparing them to return home or ready them to be fostered within the system. I am in awe of what they do and how they do it...and challenged to do more.
Spencer is the eight year old boy of whom the story is written. His childhood was so tragic, I could barely handle the read...but, then, the need for redemption wouldn't allow me to put it down!
If you have already experienced the foster care system or have a rooted passion for bringing change, this would be a good read for you. I would not recommend this book for those that are wavering between domestic and foster care adoption. It is a rough read and could, potentially, scare you into saying no...when we need you to say, yes!
Like I said, I found Casey's book extremely raw and inspiring. I have a greater respect for our loving, dedicated foster families and a deeper groaning to help serve these desperate kids who deserve more than they've been given.
Let me know if you end up reading it. I would love to hear your thoughts!