It was at the Jaipur Literary Festival 2013 that I first got to know about Andrew Solomon. I didn’t attend any of his sessions there. It was post JLF when I wanted to know something more about the man, that is when I stumbled on a video interview of his on Youtube. In the interview, he discussed his book Far From The Tree and the idea and the efforts he had to make to put it all together. I was so impressed with the way he spoke and told everything about the book that I made it a point that I read this book at some point in my life. I recently finished reading this book and trust me, I have never read anything better than this. Never ever. So poignant, so humane and so emotional. Andrew Solomon’s Far From The Tree touches that raw side of you which is extremely touch to penetrate.
I personally believe that you become what your parents teach you to be, how you are dealt with as a child. Andrew Solomon’s Far From The Tree deals with parenting and the psychology associated with it. Andrew himself had a very tough time with his parents because he is gay. He explains each and everything aspect of his relationship with his parents when he came out of the closet to them.
In the book, he discusses 12 different areas in which parenting plays a vital role in nurturing the child. The 12 chapters in the book deal with a child being a son, deaf, dwarf or a child is suffering from down’s syndrome, autism, schizophrenia or any disability. There are chapters based on prodigies, rape, crime, transgender and father.
Each of the 12 chapters in the second is an encyclopaedia in itself. Andrew has interviewed so many families and so many children to put this book all up together. He has interviewed over 300 families to understand the psychology behind bringing up their children. The acceptance, the tolerance and the patience required to cope with a situation among families is something that has been put so poignantly in words. At times, I was really shaken with what I had read in the book. I devoured on this book, read it very slowly, I let each and every word, each and every sentence to creep into my conscience and tried to understand what the author is trying to say.
The way parents whose stories have been shared in the book tells a lot about what human relationships are. In the most adverse circumstances, the challenges taken by parents to help their children to grow up and live like any other normal human is something that will touch your heart. The condition of some of the families mentioned in the book is something you can’t even imagine in your wildest dreams.
I personally recommend this book to everyone. If you are fond of reading and want to read some serious stuff, then Andrew Solomon’s Far From The Tree is something you must read. I will definitely visit this book time and again in my life. There is so much to learn from it. This book is extraordinary in every possible sense and it will definitely teach you how to be brave, compassionate and most importantly how to be a human.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Chatto & Windus, London
Genre : Family/Psychology