I know most of the books I review are Christian books, and therefore wouldn’t seem too interesting to some. The publishers that currently have me in their review groups happen to be Christian publishers, though! I do try to add a note in my reviews if the author gets too preachy, though. It’s one of my pet peeves, definitely. If I am reading a story that is set in the 19th C. or before, I see it as normal when God and faith are mentioned. They aren’t always, but much of the time they are. However, when it seems as though characters are going out of their way to speak about salvation and God’s love and things like that, it really breaks the book-world I am immersing myself in. It interrupts the story.
When requesting The Tank Man’s Son by Mark Bouman, I knew it was very possible that it would be preachy. I knew that it could turn out to be very depressing. I knew that the abuser, in this case his father, could be portrayed as an inhuman filled with evil. After all, that’s how many of these types of stories are written.
Not so with this one, I’m happy to say. The memoir is told in a very relatable way. He’s a kid. He knows other kids have lives at home very different than the one his siblings and he lead, but this is the life he has. This is the father they have, and this is what his father does. There are times where Mark (the author) looks up at his dad with admiration. There are really cool times and times when he’s proud of what his dad has taught him. But then there are always the nightmarish times, as well.
Mark doesn’t demonize his father in this book. In fact, there are points where he is trying to understand him, to understand what might have made him the way he was. There are times Mark is afraid he will turn out just like his father, and in fact his temper and attitude begin to negatively affect his adult life.
This book tackles a difficult, painful subject with open honesty and humor, because not all days were bad days. Not all people who do bad things are bad people. And there is always the choice of forgiveness and understanding.
**I received this book from NetGalley for review.**