Meanwhile, in her English class, the teacher assigns a group novel, where every student has to contribute a chapter. The book the students write is The Pain Eater, about how everybody in a village makes a girl (Farang) literally consume their pain, so the rest of the people can be happy. As the story evolves, the students turn on Maddy, and fact and fiction blur together. With the help of Maddy's new friends, she beings to realize that her silence just gives them more control. Speaking up may be what can save her and Farang, too.
It is very rare to encounter two stories in one. Both Maddy's story and Farang's story were amazing, and I would read Farang's story even if it was just a book on its own! The parallelism and juxtaposition were extraordinary, and it really showed through. It is very obvious as the story goes on and the two worlds collide. Farang's life is basically a huge metaphor for Maddy, and I have never read anything quite like it!
I was disappointed that the teacher did not do much to help. Sure, Ms. Mousumi was concerned, but with the direction that the class discussions took, the correspondence and allegory was so blatantly obvious that I am surprised she did not realize. However, it is an accurate representation of how things really are in high school.
I recommend that you read this book!
Title: The Pain Eater
Author: Beth Goobie
Publisher: Second Story PressPages: 236 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars