Review: Tara Winkler – How (not) to Start an Orphanage

How (not) to Start an Orphanage
Tara Winkler

Tara first came to Cambodia over 10 years ago on a long-needed vacation. What she found there were horrific orphanage conditions and suffering that she knew shouldn’t exist. When she returned home, she was determined to raise funds and help those children in need. The process ended up to be slightly more complicated than she expected, and this is the story of that 10 years.

29556438Wow. This novel. Non-fiction is winning at the moment. This was fantastic and well-written. I felt myself at Tara’s side, and I absolutely empathised with every situation she found herself in, likely or not. We are walked through her childhood and highschool years, and then her ‘career’ after that. There are so many situations that Tara found herself in, and it feels like she has done justice to describing them in this novel.

Tara learns a bit of everything, she has to! And so does the reader. I had never really been interested in child attachment psychology, but wow, it is so obvious. I was reading recently about another novel I think where there was a room full of babies in an orphanage – and the room was silent. When asked what was wrong with the babies, the manager replied that the babies had learnt that crying didn’t do anything.

In reading this novel, you’re going to have to look at both the positive and negatives of orphanages. The main take home of this novel is to remember that orphanages are not actually in a child’s best interest. The best is to have them in their own family, and then provide support services to help them remain there.

This is non-fiction, so I won’t be rating it. It’s well worth the read.


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