Child in a Manger: Chapter 7

Brock is perhaps not the best cop ever…

He’d fought a valiant fight at first, speaking of regulations and lawsuits and everything else he could pull from his debate arsenal.  But then she’d turned her miserable expression on him, telling him she couldn’t go back to that cold, empty house.  He hadn’t stood a chance.

I’m kinda torn on this one, to be honest, mostly because of my lack of experience in social work.  I’m sure it’s not common for case workers to follow cops to (possible) former dwellings of criminals.  And it kinda feels like a conflict of interest, but who knows?  And I got nothing from the text here.

For sure, Allison is no Richard Castle…

They hang out in the shitty motel room, and see that nothing was left behind, not even trash.  So apparently Joy’s birth mother is a criminal mastermind who expected the CSI team to show up and sweep the room.

Perhaps, like Hope Chance, Joy will end up inheriting genius-level intelligence from her criminal mom!

But this is all just an opportunity for Brock to get introspective, then open up to Allison.

Remember that I love you.  The mother’s words on that note troubled him just as they had when they’d first found it.  If that mother had wanted better for her child, could it mean that just possibly, his own mother had left for his benefit.

Yes, Brock.  I’m sure it does.  Because all women everywhere are exactly the same and have the same thoughts and feelings and motivations, all the time.

No, he would never believe that.  Madeline didn’t have an unselfish bone in her body.  He’d been a burden she’d unloaded without ever looking back.

Good man.

And really, Brock is probably right.  He tells Allison about Madeline.  And he calls her Madeline, by the way, because Madeline wanted him to, not because he’s trying to disrespect her.  See, Madeline was one of those freaks who demands her kid not call her “Mommy,” because that might make people think she’s old enough to be a mom, and thus might interfere with her partying.

And she dumped him at the day care one day…and never came to pick him up.

Dr. Who

Hot damn.  Yanno, I know the book wants us to think Brock should forgive his horrible, abandoning mother and love her memory and all that, but…well, let’s just say I’ve never put much stock in this whole “forgive everybody for everything, all the time” Biblical crap.  If you want to forgive someone, good on ya and all, but Brock’s mother warped him and then dumped him.  Frak her and the donkey she rode in on.  She doesn’t deserve his forgiveness.  Brock just needs to deal with it, maybe get some therapy or something, and move on.

Oh hey, time for Allison’s martyr complex!  Once per chapter!

“[My adoptive parents] taught me about God’s love and lived their entire lives being living examples of it.” [said Brock]

Allison opened her mouth, and then she snapped it shut.  He could guess what she was about to ask.

“But aren’t you some kind of filthy, questioning unbeliever???”

“Oh, sorry for my comments the other night.  The ones about God.  As you can tell, the whole abandonment issue hits close to home.”

“I understand.”

Geez, Allison, you’d better.  This is what, the seventeenth (or does it only feel like it?) time you’ve brought this up?  It was no big deal, so get over it!

Or is your God not a big enough being to take one offhand comment from some guy who’s had his heart pureed?

They head back to the outdoor nativity scene to examine…stuff, I guess, again, and Allison lists all the reasons why a mother might abandon a month-old baby in an outdoor piece of scenery in the middle of an Indiana winter.  Too many kids, drugs, abuse, being too young, etc.

“It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her child.”

Allison must be the most naïve social worker in the history of the world.  Hey, girlfriend, sometimes parents don’t love their kids!  Have you honestly not figured this out yet?  Holy crap!

“And, Brock—” she paused until he met her gaze “—just because your mom left doesn’t mean she didn’t love you, either.”

“But not enough, right?”

“Maybe more than you know.  Maybe she wanted to give you the chance for a better life.”

Heh, yeah…I’m sure.

I don’t think Madeline is any Snow White or Emma here.

Maybe Cora, though…

The hearing happens and Joy is officially In The System.

And Brock kinda invites himself to Allison’s for dinner!

Yanno, to comfort her and all.

Oh wooooowwwwwww…

Nah, won’t happen.  Stupid Christian guidelines, with their “minimum of sensuality and sexual desire.”




Posted on December 19, 2014, in Books, Child in a Manger, Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yeah. Therapy might be for Brock, not forgiveness (unless he wants to, a decision that he’ll no doubt be railroaded into; this is a Christian Romance, after all). But then, this being a Christian Romance, I don’t think therapy would be a viable option.

    Man, if this was a more interesting book, unfettered by Steeple Hill guidelines, Brock and Allison would be comforting each other all night long. But then, Allison wouldn’t be insufferable. Or at least, she’d be insufferable in an interesting manner.

  2. Yeah, I’m not fond of the “must forgive family for all offenses because they’re family” line, myself.

  3. So Missing Mom minutely cleaned the room… but left the car seat behind? Huh?

    “It’s a high ransom she charges for nine months lodging in the womb.” I may be biased in this regard, but I don’t feel family members deserve to get away with everything any more than workmates do. We’re no longer in a society where your family is your safety net, which is where those attitudes come from.

    Yeah, Mom leaving doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you, but nor does it mean she does. So you should probably assume the most likely explanation until you get more data, then be prepared to change your mind. But obviously that’s something a filthy atheist would say.

    • I’m with ya. I’m not quite as quick as our host to give the absentee mothers the boot, but the burden of proof that they aren’t horribly human beings is on them as far as I’m concerned. And what little intel we have on either of them thus far (doens’t want to be called mommey and leaves kid with a daycarecenter, leaves kid in outdoor crib in winter) isn’t helping their case.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for December 26, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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