Book review: Nowhere to go by Casey Watson

I just finished reading Nowhere to go one of Casey’s fostering memoirs. I so love these books as you’re drawn into the emotional life of Casey and her family and how each child affects them all. It’s extremely emotionally honest and raw. There’s no fiction or making it look pritty it is how it is.
She wrote this book a few years ago. And it’s the first one she got on audio. At first I disliked the narrator’s higher slow reading voice just tone and energy. But as I listened more I could picture the voice representing Casey as I knew her from reading other books. Then it became more real to me and it actuallyturned out that I felt the narrator portrayed all characters well. Especially when people got emotional.
This story centers around 11 year old Tyler. He is an emergency placement. Picked up by the polece after stabing his stepmom with a knife. He is volatile verbally abusive, and really out of control. However Casey and Mike were hand picked for the challenge. They are specialist foster carers. They run a behavior management program where a child gets points for behaving well and loses points for not making good choices. Through this program it is hoped that the child understands cause and effect and the link between their behavior and what their daily life ends up looking like as a result of their choices. The children that the watsons get come from extremely abusive backgrounds, and have behavioral problems mostly a lot of anger issues, sexual acting out, or simply lack basic life skills. They’ve been at this for a few years and after a long break seeing Emma off (a last kiss for Mummy) they were more than ready they thought. They didn’t realize how intense and volatile the family situation was. Or the nature of Tyler’s crime needing a court case. Casey was very shocked that a family member would press charges on an 11 year old child. A chance meeting with the stepmom showed casey exactly what the problems were. Far from Tyler provoking things to go bad in the home the stepmom who I suspect has mental illness, held an emotionally abusive rein over the whole family including Tyler’s little brother.
While tyler was trying to come to grips with the programs obstacles like being banned from contact with his brother, memories of the rejection he dealt with over the years all piled on him.
It was traumatic that his mom died of an overdose when he was a baby. And he was placed with his bio father. But then to be emotionally and sometimes physically abused for years wore him down to the bone. With Casey’s whole family ( grown up children, grandkids and Casey’s parent’s) insisting on breaking down his deffensive walls he slowly started to become more polite, more able to talk about his feelings and be vulnerable. The funny affectionate kid under all the layers of hurt was shining through.
There were to be more traumas in his life while at the watsons. But thelove therebrings him to a place where he’s able to resolve deep rooted issues about his past and bio family in order to make room for new experiences and clear up old emotions.
As it gets closer for him to graduate the program and a long term carer is being found Casey is unexpectedly off emotionally. She doesn’t know why though the intuitions of her family tell her that she truly wants Tyler as part of the family. They’ve basically give him a real childood and a family when he never had one. She told herself that their job was to be short term usually for no more than a year for each cchild. But was there a way to change this, to allow them to continue to foster s special kids while being a long term carer? I won’t give away the ending but it’s a good one!
This story reminds me of Lucy’s story in Cathy’s family. It’s interesting because as the books came out intime order we didn’t know tyler was part of the family until he was. Oh gave it away sorry! I wanted to read this book before I read any other fostering memoirs taking place after it as I wanted to know the whole story on tyler as I’m sure he’s going to be a real support to incoming kids. Als am curious how life changes for the family with fostering new kids with tyler a there forever.
I highly recommend this book! And the audio verssion. I’ve been feercely bugging Casey about geting the books written before this point into audio. Cathy glass under the same publishing company got all her books out in a year. So I don’t quite understand the hold up. Enjoy this book

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