Esther's Reviews > The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
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's review
Oct 01, 2008

liked it
Recommended to Esther by: my kid

Recommended to me by my teenaged son, the book had a promising start and an interesting middle, but it all kind of fell apart towards the end and finished with a very unsatisfying ending. I liked the ideas presented about prejudice and predetermination vs. self-determination, and about the relative values of evil. The book is chock-full of evil-doers, some of whom are despicable, some of whom are loved, and one, the most interesting character of them all, Tam Lin, who is a compelling mixture of sin and repentance, loyalty and betrayal, an evil-doer who also manages to be a good man.

It felt like after presenting all her ideas and laying out the moral dilemmas, the author kind of ran out of steam and dashed off an ending that, I suppose, she figured would tie up all the loose ends, but really leaves just about everything hanging.

For instance, in a workhouse/orphanage setting that makes the Dickens orphans look positively privileged (at least they get genuine gruel), we are let to believe that all abuses will be corrected once one of the orphans manages to get word out that they are being mistreated. I guess the world would be a much better place than is portrayed in this book (or in reality, for that matter) if that was all it took to overcome evil and corruption.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 1, 2008 – Finished Reading
October 1, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Alecia Completely agree with you about Tam Lin and about the ending. Interesting and thoughtful ideas but unsatisfying and too easy resolution at the end. Came upon the last page way too quickly, like she had to get somewhere and just wrote it off to move on to the next project. A missed opportunity to be a great book.

Alison I totally agree. I really liked the book and then once it got to that last section after Matt escaped, it just felt rushed and awkward. I only ended up giving it two stars.

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