Saturday, 2 February 2008

Facing the Wind by Julie Salamon

This is the story of a murder, a club for mothers of handicapped children, and a love story.

From the back cover:

Bob Rowe and his wife Mary worked hard to build their American dream. A suburban home, barbecues in the summer, and a fast track corporate job made their life look ideal to outsiders. Yet they faced one of the most difficult challenges for a couple: their son Christopher was born severely handicapped and disabled. As a family, they managed to navigate through the tough times by being hands-on parents. Their efforts were emboldened by a group of extraordinary women - all of whom also had disabled children - who acted as a support system for one another.

Then, one day, Bob killed first the three children and then Mary.

I found this book gave me real insight into a state of mind that could lead someone to kill his family "out of love." It also made "temporary insanity" something more than a legal plea.

I find it strange that not one reviewer was struck by what surely must have been the effects on Rowe of his driven nature and his harridan, carping mother. From a young age, Rowe was determined to be successful in his career, to achieve middle-class status, and have a storybook home and family. With perseverance and focus, he achieved his goals. He must have been a breakdown waiting to happen even before the trauma of dealing with one sick child and one severely handicapped child began to pile on more pressure. Adding public role model and a job crisis not of his own making to the stew, it could only have been a matter of time, And, unfortunately, it was.

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