The Perfect Parent Project by Stewart Foster

Written by Stewart Foster, Publishing January 2021 by Simon and Schuster

An incredibly heart warming, but tough story featuring Sam, a foster child, who has moved houses 9 times. I say houses as, “a house and a home aren’t the same thing”. When we first meet Sam, he expressly explains that a house is just bricks and mortar and a home is the pictures and love within. He has never had a home.

Sam has plenty of emotions keeping him busy and distracting him from his own happiness. He is angry, scared and feels isolated even though there are plenty of people who care for him and have hopes for him. I was warned to keep tissues handy for this one and through the humour and epic story, there were some moments of pure emotion for the characters and the reader.

I must admit this book had me re-thinking the world of those in foster care and the uncertainty or worry they must feel regularly. What brave children they are to open themselves up and learn to live and belong with families which are not their own. The sense of identity we take for granted when we say, you are so like your Mum, or your brother used to do that too. Those small moments of memory that we just know.

Sam, being so desperate to find his perfect family, creates his own wanted poster and sends 400 of them out into the world. Meeting disappointment time and time again, Sam buries the emotions and creates a web of lies that is just not manageable. As the reader, we can see this happening but Sam is lost in the world of the perfect parent project.

Stewart Foster has this amazing ability to be the voice of a child, and Sam is so expertly written that I felt a part of this story and my heart was full of love for this child who so desperately wants a family of his own!

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