Demon Copperhead, a novel by Barbara Kingsolver, was 548 pages of hard to read reality. Having grown up on a farm in the Midwest with loving parents and family, food in abundance and no idea that the world could be cruel I read this detailed book over the period of approximately a month. In other words I have been living with Demon long enough to immerse myself in his life.
Knowing this life is happening to many kids today just makes this story more appalling and sad. Life without parents lands a kid in sketchy foster care homes where monthly checks are infinitely more important than the kid himself. The kid becomes the family slave who doesn’t even deserve a bed to sleep in,
This is a story of foster care leading to drug addiction. I knew nothing about either and yes, the book is very sad – extremely sad but yet I couldn’t put it down. It pulled me in with details that were foreign to me and I feel more educated from reading it. Who could imagine such a life for a kid? Not me.
You retired schoolteachers would likely read this book with a better understanding of underprivileged kids, their lives and their exposure to drugs. I have led a sheltered life here on the farm – mostly by choice and drug addiction is something I’ve never experienced, never read about and never had any interest in.
I don’t know how to rate this book – it was well written, the story is a valid one yet the book is so sad and disturbing that I’m not sure if it’s a good book or just a chore to read. I do know that I couldn’t quit in the middle when it got slow. I was compelled to keep reading.
Demon Copperhead, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, is a story about a kid who fell through the cracks that led to drug addiction.
If you’ve read it please leave your thoughts in the comments.