A Child Called It… Books That Haunt You

 
(Photo Courtesy)

 By Tabitha Makumi,

Some books you read and that’s just about it. It was just a book that didn’t elicit any feelings from you. Nada. And then there are books that stick with you. Books that haunt you. Books you wish never end. Books you wish you wrote. Books that make you cry like a buffoon in the middle of the night because darn it, there’s no other way around it.

Such a book is Dave Pelzer’s “A Child Called It”. Normally I dig good old fiction novels. But there was something about this one book amongst all those Ian Rankin, Lee Child and Ruth Rendell sort of novels which I normally reach out for.

Maybe it was the sad eyes of a little boy on the book’s cover or maybe it was just the urge to try something different. “Wachana na hizi novels za serial killers unashindaga ukisoma…” this young
man who sells books along Tom Mboya Street just outside Tuskys Daima echoed my thoughts.

This sad book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases you will ever read or hear about. Dave Pelzer writes of how he was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games of starvation, mental torture to stabbing. What’s more, it’s a true story that can bring tears to the eyes of anyone with a beating heart.

This is not a book about how mothers can sometimes go nuts on you and beat your ass for being a shit head (as parents are known for). Also, this is not about parents instilling discipline or the fear of god on their kids. Hell nah, this is all about a deranged mother handling her son like she is CIA and he belongs in Guantanamo Bay or something.

The fact that it’s a first person narrative makes it even gloomier. But you keep reading because as a normal human being you cannot look away from a train wreck. If this doesn’t get to you I do not know what will.

“At the core of my soul, I hated myself than anybody or anything. I came to believe that everything that happened to me or around me was my own fault because I had let it go on for so long. I wanted what others had, but saw no way to get it, so I hated them for having it. I wanted to be strong but inside I knew I was a wimp. I never had the courage to stand up to that bitch so I knew I deserved whatever happened to me…..”

Be ready to cry your heart out with this one.