Thursday, November 13, 2008

An inside view of FASD

The Whitest Wall by Jodee Kulp is a story of a young man suffering with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the life challenges he faces on a daily basis. The disability is one that crosses many barriers such as race and socioeconomic status. This novel gets to the heart of FASD and gives the reader an inside view of what a person with this disability experiences through Kevin’s fight with the social and justice systems. Jodee is able to subtly incorporate the manner in which FASD manifests itself without making the reader uninterested with the details.

I am overcome with the manner in which Jodee was able to thread together racism, poverty, abuse, fetal alcohol, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder with smoothness that did not confuse the reader. This book leaves the reader absorbed in the challenge to discover how each of the preceding issues will come together on common ground and allow for a better understanding of FASD.

The overall perspective of this book takes the reader to a true understanding of what a person struggling with an FASD may be facing on a daily basis. The analogies to other disabilities and inequities lead the reader to get a feel for the inner workings of the brain of a person who is affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. The issues at hand were made very clear and with such emotion it left the reader feeling very melancholy but with hope for redemption. The Whitest Wall is a book that will be appreciated by anyone who reads it. It is a great work of fiction with a touch of reality that leaves the reader waiting for the next book.

Ruth A. Rice FASD Program Director, White Earth

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