Fiction is a wonderful thing. It’s an endless world of possibilities and it’s ever changing.
When I was a child I loved reading the books written by Jacqueline Wilson. The first time I was introduced to her books was when my teacher called us for story time. The book she read to us was called The Suitcase Kid. It was about a young girl called Andrea West, Andy for short. Her parents are divorcing and she finds herself living between two houses with Radish, her tiny stuffed rabbit.
This might not have been the first book to address divorce, but it was the first one that I’d come across. Although, I haven’t experienced it, it’s a book I still love.
I went on to devour each book that she’d written. My favourites are The Story of Tracey Beaker, The Illustrated Mum and Love Lessons.
Love Lessons has been met with the most criticism. At least that’s what I’ve found.
The reason for this criticism?
The book features fifteen year old Prudence and her younger sister, Grace. They are taught at home by their controlling father, but this changes when he has a stroke. Their mother sends them to a state school where Prudence gets a crush on her art teacher, Rax.
Most of the criticism comes from parents saying how absurd the whole plot was. One even accused her of persuading young minds to seduce their teachers.
Personally after reading it I couldn’t have been more dissuaded to follow Prudence’s path.
Some may feel that this was an illicit fantasy, and it is one that girls think about. Not all, but some.
But would shying away from the subject only cause more harm than not speaking of it?
It’s a discussion without an end.
Breaking through the mould or writing something completely different is hard to do. The results can be worthwhile, but to be met without criticism is highly unlikely.
Until next week,
With thanks to Mikhail Pavstyuk for the image via Unsplash.com