I found The Slap by browsing my library's new release shelves. The cover and the title drew my attention, but after discovering that it takes place in Australia, I have to admit to almost putting it back. I am glad I didn't because I really came to enjoy it. I give it an A-.
Winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap is a riveting page-turner and a powerful, haunting rumination on contemporary middle-class family life. When a man slaps a child who is not his own at a neighborhood barbecue, the act triggers a series of repercussions in the lives of the people who witness the event-causing them to reassess their values, expectations, and desires. For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Tom Perrotta, this is a compelling account of modern society and the way we live today.
I thought the book addressed a lot of questions like what are people to do when a child isn't being disciplined by they parents when there is clearly a need and who do we stand by between an argument between family and friends. I loved the way the story was told through 8 different people who were at the barbecue and getting to see how they feel about all of the events. I was somewhat shocked at some of the descriptions of drug use and felt that they probably could have been left out of the story, but all in all it was very engaging. For a dirty, raw look at the suburbs (or at least those in Australia) I would check out The Slap. I am glad I broke my kinda rule about not reading foreign books!