Demon Copperhead

I felt stressed out for a lot of this book. There is a lot of trauma (drugs, death, addiction, abuse) but while the subject matter is dark, its endearing protagonist makes the book a page turner. My mom had read it and loved it, many of you had said it was your best book of 2022, and I had finished watching Dopesick a few weeks before. This is a tough book at times, but if I could give it an A++ I would. So far, it’s my favorite book of 2023. Damon Copperhead is born to a junkie mother. By the time of his birth, his father is already dead. He is the boy that nobody wants. He finds himself orphaned and family-less, going from foster home to foster home, just trying to stay alive. The storyline follows Demon from childhood through young adulthood, through horrible loss after horrible loss, terrible and sometimes abusive foster homes, child labor, heartbreak, more death, disaster, and loss. In between that there are pockets of sunshine (his athletic success, his friendships, his wit and sense of humor) which makes the book a compulsive read: Damon/Demon’s voice is really just incredible. There is also a lot of good social commentary. I think this would be a great book for book club as I think it would evoke some powerful discussions. It touches on or at least shows us how we treat rural people, what it is like for kids who have to grow up way too fast, and the way that institutional poverty affects children. And of course the pharmaceutical industry. Read this book, I loved it so much. Also now I kind of want to revisit David Copperfield (Dickens) now. I read it as a girl but it’s been a long time.

Author: Barbara Kingsolver