Sunday, April 15, 2012
WAITING TO FORGET by Sheila Kelly Welch
I always read the Author's Note of a book first because I want to know why an author chose this particular story. The note at the end of WAITING TO FORGET says, "She, (Ms. Welch), and her husband live in Illinois, where they raised five sons and two daughters. Four of the children were adopted when they were of school age." That kind of emotional truth resonates in the story of two children, Angela and T.J. who suffer because their mother is too immature to take care of them.
The mother's primary sin is neglect. She can't be bothered to make sure her children are clean, fed, and safe. But neglect turns to emotional and physical abuse at the hands of their mother's boyfriend.
The turning point in this novel happens when T.J. and Angela are left alone for the weekend. Their only link to their mother is a cell phone that she never bothers to answer.
The story is told in alternating sections between "Then" and "Now." Now takes place in the hospital waiting room where T.J. is waiting for news of Angela. Then tells the story of the abuse and neglect that culminated in her accident. The reader doesn't find out what happened to Angela until near the end of the book. I couldn't put it down until I knew.
WAITING TO FORGET packs an emotional punch. It will leave you thinking long after you finish it.