October 17th 2009 05:06
Jack was put away at the age of 11 for a horrendous crime, which we eventually learn the details of as the story moves along. After 18 years of juvenile and then adult imprisonment he is released back into society under a new name in a new district. His carer, a councilor who has been assigned to Jack from the beginning, is his only link to his past, and his only life-line should his new world fall apart around him.
This is pretty heavy stuff and as we learn the circumstances of Jack’s down fall and his rehabilitation it is hard to sit back and watch as things start to go wrong for him. And you do start asking yourself hard questions … ones that I’m sorry to say there are no real answers to. Like … when does a child start to become responsible for their actions? And if we are not willing to accept rehabilitated criminals into society, what should we do with them? If you think you know the answers, read Boy A and then see if you have the same views.
Trigell has really laid bare some raw bones here. At no point are you misled into thinking things would turn out rosy, but if you’re like me and try to see the good in people, it brings home again the reality that in certain circumstances we are never going to do the right thing. Coincidentally, the media was preying on a recently released paedophile and his whereabouts at the time I took this book up, and the role of the media in such cases has a strong profile in this book. Plenty of thought provoking questions there!
There has been a movie made (I always find these things out after I’ve read the book!) and the reviews seem favourable, so I’ll have to have a look. But don’t rely on the screen to know Jack’s story … read it first. I think it will get under your skin ... and I don’t think you’ll regret it.