I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
This book intrigued me for two reasons. I am also a former UK police officer as is the author of this book and I now live in the Philippines, the location for the tale of the “Rugby Boys.”
It was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read and I recommend it to all who are concerned about the plight and suffering of our fellow humans no matter where they happen to live. I was aware of this problem and sometimes see the effects of solvent abuse on the streets of the provincial city where I live. I often used to see a man in his twenties walking down the street with his solvent bag “attached” to his nose. I later saw him utterly naked stood at the roadside adopting a pose as if he had been crucified on the cross. Of course, it is not the only abuse problem in the Philippines as shabu (methamphetamine) is a curse to the people on low incomes in this country.
The curses of either drug or solvent addiction unfortunately mean a temporary “relief” for the users from the daily “hell” of their situation. I found the book interesting for other reasons. One was the adjustments the author went through so she could cope with the emotions engendered in her through daily contact with these “lost souls.” She also had to learn about the culture differences between the UK and the Philippines and how to deal with bureaucracy in the country – no easy task!
Vellacott came to the Philippines as a Christian missionary and I also found it interesting to sense a growth and an adjustment in her own Christian values during the course of the book. As a Christian myself, I respect her views but did find some of them a tad “fundamentalist” at times. I wonder whether her “brand” of Christianity has changed over the course of time?
I had some minor issues with the author’s writing style which at times was akin to reading an official police report but this was her first book. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
I urge you to read this book. You will be thankful that you were not born as unfortunate as some of these kids in Subic Bay.