Friday, May 23, 2008

More Than It Hurts You-Darin Strauss

More Than It Hurts You
Darin Strauss
Dutton, Jul 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 0525950702

In Long Island Josh Goldin loves his wife Dori and their eight month old son Zack. However, the TV salesman is very worried about Zack who twice has been rushed to the emergency room with strange life-threatening symptoms. African-American ICU pediatric chief Dr. Darlene Stokes reports the Goldin case to the Child Protective Services; her theory is that Zack’s mom suffers from Munchausen syndrome, which causes her to inflict harm to her child in an attempt to draw attention to herself and her family.

CPS decides to take Zack away from his white Jewish parents who challenge the government agency in court. The public is divided between parental rights and children protection as the case is not quite as black and white as the two sides pretend it to be.

Extremely timely with the Texas Child Protective Services-Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints incident and the media sell out to the Pentagon, Darin Strauss slices and dices the new American economy in which everything is for sale especially health (you may not be able to buy health unless your Cheney, but many Americans cannot afford anything but illness and death). Whether it is a hospital bed, a news report or a politician, the price is right. At times the powerful satirical elements overwhelm the basic social issue of parental rights vs. professional opinion re the welfare of a child as everyone is stereotyped to lampoon some aspect of society. Darin Strauss carves up Bush’s American dream asserting that for many it is more a nightmare.

Harriet Klausner