When you walk into a bookstore or library, you are presented with thousands of books, and you have to decide which of them you want to the most; since there are too many to take them all. With book reviewing, I've found the question becomes different. Instead of "Is this the best book I can find tonite?", when a publicist or blogger group offers a book my questions are "Do I have time to read it?" and "Do I think I'm likely to like it?". If the answer to both questions is "Yes", then I accept the book. That's led to me accepting some books I would never have taken home from the library or bookstore. Some would have been better left alone; others, like this one, turn out to be winners.
Confessions of a Former Child is written by Daniel Tomasulo, a Ph.D. psychologist. It is basically the story of his life, as illuminated by his professional activities. He tells some stories about his patients and some stories about his family. Some are funny; others more serious. He tells us how he believed he controlled the streetlights when he was a child; and how that memory helped him treat a child who thought he kept the airplanes aloft. We follow him through a therapists' training/group therapy session where he comes to terms with the dynamics in his family. We learn how he tries to help a mentally handicapped man whose auto erotic activity is causing bleeding and pain.
Since I review a lot of Christian fiction and other religiously-oriented books, I do want to let my readers know that not only does the book describe how he attempts to teach the mentally challenged to masturbate without pain (not graphic but "just say no" isn't his advice) it also spends a chapter describing his experiences (positive) with Reiki.
Confessions of a Former Child is funny yet serious. The author can laugh at himself--he describes how he almost missed his daughter's birth because he was locked in the rubber room in the psych ward of the hospital. It was an easy read but my guess is that some people may not find it so if they see too much of themselves/their families in either the patients or Tomasulo's family.
Thanks to Amy Currie at Phenix & Phenix for sending me this book. I enjoyed it and recommend it. For more information about Tomasulo, see his website.