Synopsis: In a home almost unfit even for roaches, one mother neglected her daughter so badly that she never learned to talk, play with toys, or even eat. Then the police found out, and before long, the girl was adopted. Her new parents try to develop her into a communicative, well-behaved child.
In this story, Lane DeGregory is dealing with two things: extreme repulsiveness, and extreme fragility. Illuminating this stark contrast requires a balance that DeGregory achieves supremely by repulsing the readers enough to leave them deeply invested in what happens to this clearly dysfunctional 5-year-old, but not so much to turn them away. (Disclaimer: The depiction of this trailer home leaves you teetering just on the edge of hurling, but you can’t blame the writer for that one.) Read the rest of this entry »