Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review: The Newman Resident by Charles Swift

The Newman Resident
By Charles Swift
Publisher: Fifth East Publishing
Published: Feb. 6, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

It's the near future and education has become big business. Dr. Newman is at the leading edge of creating the perfect educational environment for children, and all he requires is a hefty tuition--and your child at the age of six months.

Christopher Carson is one of the "Newman Residents" who live at the Newman Home year-round. His parents, Richard and Carol, both Manhattan attorneys, may disagree about the specifics, but each wants what's best for their son. For Richard, this means bringing Christopher, now six years old, home for one last summer vacation before the visits become brief and infrequent.

Carol agrees with the staff: Christopher should stay at the school. And Christopher is confused, not sure where his real home is anymore. But Richard would like for their house to be Christopher's home, at least for one summer.

As Richard and Christopher spend more time together they become closer. Not long into Christopher's visit, Richard begins to suspect that the Newman Home's methods for developing their children into future leaders are too experimental, if not outright dangerous. His suspicions are confirmed when a secretive support group of Newman parents reaches out to him about their frightening experiences with the school.

Richard's investigations into the Newman Home quickly spiral out of control; he has underestimated the extent of the school's power and connections--and Dr. Newman's incessant drive to achieve a new level of success for the students. But what Dr. Newman underestimates may be even more powerful: one father's determination to fight for his son against the odds.

What follows in The Newman Resident is a whirlwind battle between a devoted father and an education system more terrifyingly powerful than he ever could have imagined. It's a battle that forces him to confront how some will cross any line in order to create the "perfect" child.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Public schools have been declared an unworkable educational system for educating children. Everyone now pays to have their children in private schools. One of the best private schools is the Newman School. They take their students beginning at the age of 6 months. Children no longer go home for long breaks as that interferes with their learning. At least until Richard Carson insisted his son come home for the summer while he worked on his novel.

Christopher was only 6 years old when he returned home for this sabbatical. His dad noticed strange behaviour in him such as a twitching in his left hand and a very withdrawn attitude, unlike the behaviour he’d seen on the videotapes the school had sent him of his son.

When ­­­­a stranger started contacting him about his child at Newman and a support group he was involved with, Richard decided something strange was going on and began looking into it. What he discovered horrified him.

This book was a fascinating look at what the future could be like for the educational system as the world works at trying to perfect it. Imagine the consequences of giving your child up at 6 months of age for the perfect education. Would it be worth it?

This story takes on unimaginable dark twists and turns as Richard delves into the mysteries of how Christopher has been educated at Newman’s School. The power that the school holds over the children is amazing and the fight to keep Christopher home for a summer sabbatical becomes life threatening

This book was very fast-paced and my attention was held all the way through the book making it an easy book to read quickly. The mysteries had me guessing and the suspense had me biting my nails (figuratively speaking).

I enjoyed the main protagonist’s characters Christopher, Richard and Carol Carson and how their interactions and characters changed with the story. The characters were believable.

If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers, I’m sure you will like The Newman Resident. I gave it 5 stars out of 5.

I purchased my copy of this book on Amazon.ca.

About the Author:

The Newman Resident brings together the worlds of law, education, and family—all set in New York City. Charles Swift has had a unique blend of experiences that have combined to help him write this novel. He was a law student at Columbia Law School for a year and worked as a summer associate at a leading Manhattan law firm before deciding that law was not what he wanted to pursue as a career. He earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Foundations and has taught for almost 20 years. And, most important of all, he’s happily married and the father of three. Each of these experiences in his life has contributed to The Newman Resident, helping to make it an exciting novel that explores important issues. Charles and his wife live in the Rocky Mountain West with their youngest child.

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