My Rating: 3
*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
If you are at all curious, or oblivious, about the sad realities that make up the Social Services system, then I highly suggest you read this book. If you are looking for a novel with a solid plot and storyline- then you might be somewhat disappointed.
The Twilight Tsunami is a story about the Social Services system as well as some of the cases that have to be handled. The “main character” is Grey, a tough social worker that has a backwards way of handling cases, but is just what the department needs for the hardest child removals. As it turns out, however, Grey really isn't the main character as the story is told from many other points of view. While I appreciated the various perspectives and situations, I felt that I had a hard time connecting to any single person as it was constantly jumping from character to character.
Another thing that did not sit well with me was the inclusion of romantic relationships as well as the storyline of a ladder-climbing social worker. I felt that the attempt at including a romance in the novel did not feel authentic and instead took away from the actual content. I know that a book with such a heavy topic can seem like it should include some more light-hearted and happy parts, as well, but it ended up feeling misplaced and inappropriate. As for the power-hungry worker, that too felt like it just didn't fit. Again, maybe it would've made more sense if I was following one character the whole story, but with so many things going on, it just felt like an added plot that didn't really change much.
What I did really appreciate about this book, was how detailed it was in describing some horrible situations that social workers, children, and families, have to deal with when going through the system. From the child removals, to the different foster homes, to the treatment centers, or lack thereof, to help parents get back on track. I found all of these things heartbreaking yet informative in their nature. I also liked how different solutions were described in the book and what some good ideas were as far as how to help reorganize things. I feel that knowledge is power and spreading the word about our current system and how it can be changed is the first major step.
Overall, the Twilight Tsunami was a book I am glad I read, in order to learn more about foster homes and the hardships social workers face on a daily basis, but the characters didn't do much for me. I would've liked to see this one more focused on a single character and the things they had to deal with, and less focused on romance and power trips. That being said, I would love to read something else of Shelby Londyn-Heath’s. I feel that she has many stories to tell about her experiences in the Social Services field and I would jump at the chance to read more about this unfortunate reality of which people are unaware.