C.E.A. Forster: You’re Being Ridiculous
Published By: C.E.A. Forster
Buy it: here
What the Blurb Says:
A new authorial voice relaying true stories that are likely to both horrify you and make you laugh out loud. Events and conversations are told with pace, humour and humanity as the author shares with you her memories of the situations she has lovingly endured while at the mercy of her numerous foster boys.
It is heart warming, heart breaking and heartfelt in equal measures. It is a memoir of sorts but it is definitely not a misery memoir. C.E.A. Forster is youngish, conceivably pushing middle age, although she would argue as to where that line is drawn, and she is just wanting to share with you the trials, tribulations and sheer joy of her time as a foster carer.
She writes of the sounds of bystanders that she can still to this day hear ringing in her ears, tutting at her apparent inability to control the children in her care and of the mayhem that follows them everywhere, along with her repeated admonition to them of “you’re being ridiculous!” .
Claire has experienced those awful questions in the most public of places concerning the differences between boys and girls and has been informed by a six year old on the habits of mating Turtles. Have you ever heard of pee wars? Have you ever crash landed in a World War II plane and lived to tell the tale? Not to mention some of the topics discussed at the dinner table that would make even the most bold of us blush.
Claire won’t mind you laughing at her or with her and she will leave you knowing, in no uncertain terms, just how much she grew to love these boys and how they will always have a special place in her heart. She hopes that maybe one day they will come back into her life to remind her of their own memories.
What I Say:
Thank you very much to C.E.A. Forster for supplying me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit that I wanted to review this book because I was curious about the world of fostering, having had no experience of it whatsoever. I naively assumed that because I am a parent, I would understand what it takes to be a foster carer – I could not have been more wrong!
You’re Being Ridiculous is the story of how Claire started fostering children and how she dealt with the everyday and not so everyday situations she found herself in!
What I found really refreshing about this book is that Claire does not claim to be any sort of foster carer expert, instead we see each situation as she deals with it, and the questions she has to ask herself as to how she should react appropriately.
As a mum, you can pretty much react in any way you want, and say whatever gets you through the tricky situation – as a foster carer, there is an added layer of responsibility and set of guidelines you are expected to follow which only adds to Claire’s dilemmas as she deals with the children in her care.
The situations that Claire and her foster children find themselves in are at times simply hilarious, and the scene in Aldi (you have to read it to believe it!), made me really laugh out loud. That is undoubtedly down to the no nonsense, relatable way in which Claire writes.
It was also interesting to see how other people in the big wide world react to the sometimes unpredictable behaviour of the children, and that tutting is definitely the universal language of misunderstanding! As a parent of a child with special needs that really resonated with me, as I have lost count of the number of times I have had to deal with stares and exaggerated tutting when my son doesn’t behave in a certain way. I always think it would be very interesting to see how people would behave if they had to walk a mile in my shoes, and am sure that Claire must feel the same!
This is not to say that the book is just about the funny things that happen as Claire ventures into the world of fostering. It is also balanced by the reality of what the young people in Claire’s care are going through. We don’t know what place they are in their lives, and what they have seen or heard, and cannot begin to comprehend what they are thinking about as they find themselves in the house of a stranger for the first time. Some of the most poignant scenes are where the children are trying to process what is happening to them, and how they deal with having been placed in Claire’s house.
For me, this is the strength of You’re Being Ridiculous – it could have been a flippant book filled with funny stories, but you can really feel the passion and love that Claire has for what she is doing. As she gains experience (and that you need to have spares of everything just in case!), she learns how to adapt to each child, and that though one child may be really introverted and another is a non-stop dynamo, the most important thing you can do is just be there for the child when they need you.
You’re Being Ridiculous is not a long book – it comes in at two hundred pages, but it is full of emotion, laughter and compassion, something that jumps out at you from every page. Claire has clearly found her vocation in foster caring, and her ability to tell her story so well and with so much love for the children who are lucky enough to come into her care, is a joy to read.
I hope that she is going to keep writing it all down for us, and hopefully we will see a sequel to You’re Being Ridiculous soon!