Tails of the Mouse
Autism, Orpahans and Sex...Oh My!
Stories of childrenâs resiliency are never hard to find in books, magazines and on the timelines of Facebook. But how often can a reader fully immerse themselves into the lives of a couple of children who face not one roadblock but an almost unbelievable number ranging from situational challenges to physical ones; autism, orphanages that rent children out for sex, to living in a failed state, and death threats. Any one of these would be enough for a dramatic story, but combine them together and you get a truly unbelievable tale. This is the story of a girl who was called Mouse, her sister called Princess and a therapist named Boss.
Small decisions can change an entire life
Tails of the Mouse starts with a British child therapist trying to find a much needed break from a particularly emotionally job and the traumatic circumstances of losing his at risk patients. He goes to Romania to try and vacation and figure out his life. Along the way he encounters two young children trying to find a way to survive on their own in a country where anything can be obtained with a small amount of money. Unfortunately, that involves making offers for services that should never be offered by a child. Against every inner voice of caution, he reaches out to help these two children who desperately need a helping hand.
Slowly, almost inexplicably, the therapist breaks all professional boundaries to help these two children. Initially just providing a meal, then a warm place to spend the night, next with some new and warm clothes, then a way out of the terrible life situation they found themselves in. He soon crosses the boundaries from therapist to almost surrogate father figure as he delves deeper into their psyche and sees truly life altering conditions he might be able to help with. Yet every time the reader thinks that perhaps a corner has been turned for these children’s life for the better, some new obstacle comes along and forces the three of them to come up with creative ways of overcoming.
One of the central themes that carry through the story is of sexuality especially of very young children. Other readers have looked at this as almost pornographic and having no place in a book that tries to shed the light on the challenges of raising an Autistic child. Yet to look at this story as only detailing the challenges of raising an Autistic child is to limit the scope and depth of this story. This story also tries to show the long term, and extremely damaging, impacts of exposing children to sexuality at an improper age. Even more damaging, glorifying nudity and sex as a means of obtaining desired results is to transform the development of a child away from attempting to use real talents or skills and simply rely on a more base human set of capabilities.
Consider this a cautionary note that there is quite a bit of explicit content, which can (and should) be unsettling to the reader. If it belongs in this story is a decision for each reader to decide.
Could you read a book graphically depicting underage sex?
I should being with a note of caution. This book will throw things into the story that will upset near everybody. With tales of child sex, incredibly profane language, extreme acts of violence, this book does not hold back its punches. However, if the reader looks at these as small windows into a life few of us are exposed to, it paints what could be a very realistic picture into the life of orphans in developing countries, especially those with developmental disorders. This book is both entertaining and unsettling at the same time. It will force you to look up and look at the world around you and ponder what might have been if born in a different time or in a different place. Open this book with that in mind, and I believe you will find a compelling story for all readers.