No, I’m not a fan and although I attempted several of her books when I was young, I gave up on most of them halfway through. One book that gripped me from beginning to end was The Fifth Child. I remember reading it and feeling puzzled, wondering how such a situation could ever occur; how could parents possibly be afraid of their own son? Now, after reading this heartbreaking – and groundbreaking – Salon article, I am starting to understand. Don’t forget to read the hundreds of letters in response, you may be amazed. Here’s one quote that really struck me: “I’ve cared for people suffering from all sorts of mental disorders in the course of my working life. One thing I have noticed though across the years & across the world, is the urge to get quite mystical & wax lyrical about children suffering various conditions while being simply horrified & repulsed by those children once they reach adulthood. Toddlers & young children bring out the empathy, warmth & affection in society. Large lumbering adults bring out quite the opposite.”
Looks like Japan isn’t the only country in the world having problems dealing openly with these issues.