This week's blog chain was started by always amazing Christine Fronseca who asks:
How dark is too dark for your aesthetic? And is writing "dark" and "emotional" a bad thing?
Interesting question. There's only ever been one book I've read that I almost didn't finish because I found it too dark. That book would be Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.
Now don't get me wrong, Elizabeth Scott is an amazing author. And daring. She took on the subject of kidnapping and pedophilia and she didn't always fade to black when the scenes became intense and oh-my-God-uncomfortable.
Now is that a good thing or a bad thing? In my opinion, it's a valuable book that can raise awareness and open the lines of discussion between parent and child (providing the parent has deemed the child old enough and mature enough to handle such a provocative topic.) Does kidnapping occur in this country? Unfortunately, yes. Pedophilia? Oh, how I wish it didn't. So why would we try and pretend they didn't? In my opinion, knowledge has always been the best weapon anyone can possess.
You can tell when reading Living Dead Girl that Ms. Scott really did her homework. I found the the actual abduction of the girl in the book to be horrifyingly genius. And because of that, I feel like I've better prepared my child when we've had the "don't go with strangers" talk. And it's a talk we'll keep having until she's thirty and can recite the lines by memory. And for that alone I feel like I owe Ms. Scott a debt of gratitude.
So back to the question, is writing "dark" and "emotional" a bad thing? I don't think there's any one correct answer. When it comes to books, I think they each hold opportunities for learning and shared dialogue between parent and child. And it's up to the parent to decide when their child is ready.
So now I'd love to hear from you? What are your opinions on when dark is too dark? For more opinions, check out Alyson's post from yesterday and Amparo who will post after me.
Happy almost Friday!