(I’m backtracking on some of the book reviews I did earlier but not on this blog.) There are a few books that really get under your skin and this was one of them for me. I don’t know what I was expecting when I first started to read “The Kids are All Right” but it certainly wasn’t a sad walk down memory lane. That’s not to say I didn’t like this book because really I did. It just touched on some of the unhappy times in my own life.
There are a lot of similarities I share with the Welch kids. I lost both my parents in a short span when I was very young. I came to depend on my siblings in way other families didn’t seem too. I think when families lose their parents young they can go one of two ways they either drift apart and become familiar acquaintances or they cling to each other like a life preserver. I think that was the greatest similarity between the Welch family and mine. They really did come to depend on each other to get through.
This is a touching, heart wrenching, sometimes shocking, ultimately heartwarming story of how resilient we humans are. Told from all four kids points of view we see how each felt and dealt with the circumstances they were forced into. The thing that struck me the hardest were the number of adults that let these kids down. The assortment of uncaring, unkind, and unwilling adults who failed the children was just stunning to me. As they try to struggle to find their way there is quiet a bit of alcohol and drug use which can be unsettling but perhaps understandable, given their young age. But finally they are able to survive and thrive together as a family.
I didn’t always enjoy reading this book. But I’m so glad I stuck through the emotionally raw parts. In the end I found these were four amazing strong capable people who are incredibly lucky to have each other. Having sibling who are also my friend and life savers I understand how precious that is. I finished this book knowing the kids really were going to be all right.