In A Children's Crusade, we have not entered the Holy Land. We have simply embarked upon a disastrous journey. We have misjudged and been misguided.
I fear I lack the heart needed to endure the Blair family drama, especially one that doesn't redeem itself in the end, at least in any gratifying way.
I'm missing the purpose of an ending that says, "sell the house, do your own thing, and do what most preserves your personal interests." Yes, we are nation of adolescent novelists, forever seeking novelty.
Or maybe, I missed the arrival of modern day man, who so neatly arranges for his own redemption. So far, I've not yet met anyone who can redeem himself.
Packer dismisses faith from the fabric of the Blair family life. Faith is nothing to the Blair family, yet most of our planet claims a faith. How can the reviews claim Packer's spoken to us?
No matter the scores of positive reviews, A Children's Crusade is neither gratifying, nor edifying, nor eloquent. Packer kept me up to read something that only filled me with angst: not peace, not wisdom, not joy, not sorrow, just angst and aggravation. I rarely get worked up about books I dislike; I simply set them down. I rarely engage in negative reviews, and I don't write Amazon reviews, but I will not be conned into believing that trashy talk is necessary to develop Packer's characters, nor indeed, that she's developed them, at least into people of any depth. They are simply good actors.
In some novels, the trash and trash talk may be necessary, and possibly impress upon us the pain, but A Children's Crusade lacks the shimmer of a mosaic that makes broken beautiful.
The great artists keeps us from frozenness, from smugness, from thinking the truth is in us, rather than in Christ our Lord. ~ Madeleine L'Engle