The Making of Christina, written by Meredith Jaffe, is a confronting book dealing with childhood sexual abuse. Christina, a single mother opens her heart to Jackson. This leads to them living together in a rural mansion which Christina becomes obsessed and fascinated with. Christina’s daughter Bianca lives with them and the changes in her over the ages from 10-16 are sad to read, watch and unfold as her step father sexually assaults her. Characters in the book such as Christina’s mother Rosa and friend Della add great dimensions and depth to the story and characters.
Christina is unaware of this, as most parents are. When the truth comes out, the hurt, blame, guilt and sadness that ensues is all too real in the world of childhood sexual assault.
The Making of Christina is well written – it puts the issues of poverty, single parents, trust, sexual abuse, power and control out into the open, including the consequences, without feeling the need to go into detail and making the story about one specific topic. Meredith Jaffe writes well and it’s easy to become as entrenched in the renovations of the house and ‘ignore’ the signs of abuse throughout the book. Her writing style is smooth and detailed enough but also left space for imagination.
Not a book for everyone due to its main topic of childhood sexual abuse, but people should read it to get an understanding of the power and control perpetrators use, the impact it has on families and individuals, and the need for support.