While the basis for the story is pretty disturbing, it's an interesting read at the same time. And as a therapist with an interest in child development, it was fascinating to see this author's perception of the impact of environmental deprivation on Jack's development.
One uplifting and positive aspect of this book is the loving relationship and secure attachment that Jack had developed with his Ma. This was, I think, a safe haven for him during the events that unfolded as the book progressed.
I once worked with a little girl who had spent the first three years of her life shut in a cupboard. This was abuse and neglect at the extreme end of the scale. There was no secure attachment figure for this child. And although to all outward appearances, she looked "normal"once she was removed from this environment, even the best of foster care placements couldn't make up for the early deprivation she had sustained.
That's why I love working with little people in the first five years of life. So much happens. So much of it being absorbed without us necessarily being aware of it...