30 November 2011

The Slap

I read "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas when it first came out a few years ago. To which I definitely had mixed emotions. I loved a number of things about it - it was incredibly well written, the story just flowed. It was set in Melbourne which I relished - I could immerse myself even further into it as I knew the area it was set in. 

I HATED all of the characters. Which I'm kinda OK with. Any author who can have me disliking all of his characters and still loving the book is all good by me. I liked that he dealt with a hot topic, provoking many a (heated, I'm sure!) discussion between friends who may differ in opinion. 

We read it for my book club. Now it's a pretty informal style book club, just a group of friends catching up over good food and wine and a good book. But boy were there some different opinions! The interesting thing was, everyone's opinions on this were strong. Everyone was either vehemently against disciplining other peoples children/other people disciplining their children, or they were of the 'it takes a whole village to raise a child' mindset. 

I have engaged in this conversation with a few different groups of friends, and it never ceases to amaze me that those with children just don't feel that those without children have a valid opinion. No, I don't have children. But does that mean my opinion doesn't count? Surely not. Sure, my opinion may change when I do have children, but then again, it may not. I know women with children on both sides of the fence. Some who are for discipline, and also some who are against. 

I have now finished watching the TV series, and I was really quite impressed. I thought it was well cast (I still didn't like any of the characters. No, I lie. I liked Anouk. Who, admittedly, wasn't particularly central to the storyline. I found most of the others to be lying, manipulative children who were only interested in themselves.) I also thought the event was well portrayed, not sugar-coated. And all of these same discussions were re-visited! 

My personal opinion is that I would be happy to have my child disciplined by someone else, had I left the child in their care. As this is clearly a person I trust. And I would expect my (at this point theoretical) child to behave at someone else's house. And vice versa. That's todays thought.