Thanks to Jordan Mierek for the arc of her wonderful book, The Goat Children! This story is far different from her other books that I have read. Cogling and Treasure Darkly are full-on fantasy fiction, while The Goat Children is definitely a realistic fiction read. It contains a bit of fantasy also, but a very small amount and, even then, it leaves the reader wondering, real or not real?
The closest thing to dementia of a loved one that I had to deal with is when my mother suffered from cancer and she was given strong prescription drugs for the pain. She didn’t make sense or remember sometimes. This didn’t go on for years either, as dementia can. I really sympathize with anyone dealing with this tragic part of life. Dementia has to be one of the most difficult changes to see in a loved one.
Keziah gives up the most important parts of her life to help her grandmother, who she calls Oma. Keziah no longer lives with her immediate family, but with Oma. She moves away from her friends and now is not allowed to have a social life because she has to take care of her grandmother and she can barely attend school daily without the worry of Oma getting harmed. The few friends she does find, lose patience with her because she always has to say no when they ask her to hang out. Keziah loses the major parts of a teenager’s life. She also feels somewhat abandoned by her surrounding family members because they just expect her to take care of Oma with little or no support from anyone. Keziah has always been close to her Oma and struggles with how she is being treated by her used-to-be loving grandmother. Oma can be mean at times, such as not letting Keziah into the house when she accidentally forgets her key. Oma also says rude things to Keziah, so she constantly reminds herself of all the wonderful ways her grandmother helped her in the past. These wonderful moments are in snippets between chapters. These memories helped me to sympathize even more with Keziah and Oma. What a difficult struggle!
The Goat Children is a wonderful realistic fiction read and I look forward to reading more of Jordan Mierek’s work!