Demon Copperhead

by Barbara Kingsolver

I have a serious love for Barbara Kingsolver. The Poisonwood Bible stomped on my heart several times. 

Loosely based on David Copperfield, Demon Copperhead tells the story of the tenacity of the human spirit among the most poverty stricken areas of the U.S. It also speaks to the abject failure of the mental health systems in both the United States and Canada. 

Demon is born to a young, single mom in the mountains of Appalachia. . 

Demon’s mom is  addicted to a large cocktail of drugs and uses regularly in Demon’s presence. There is a period in time in which Demon’s mom does get clean. Though this period is short lived.

Demon’s mom marries and then meets a man who will become Demon’s stepfather. Soon after Demon’s mom and the gentleman marry he becomes abusive towards Demon and his Mom. To deal with the abusive behaviour Demon’s mom turns back to addiction.  Eventually she overdoses and Demon becomes a ward of the state.

He is shuttled from foster home to foster home. In those foster homes Demon is treated as a commodity. A financial gain.

Demon learns to draw and loves drawing his own comics. He also loves Marvel characters and that is what inspires him to continue to draw.

As Demon enters highschool he is injured playing football. He has surgery and is prescribed painkillers for the pain after surgery. 

That leads to a lifetime of alcohol and drug abuse. 

Like other Barbara Kingsolver novels, this one stomped on my heart.

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