Where They Belong

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
388 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Where They Belong is a work of non-fiction penned by author Erin Foley in the social issues, cross-cultural writing, and family life genres. This interesting and important work delves into the story of Dale and Cathleen Jones, who found themselves unexpectedly running an orphanage in Cambodia in 1992. As the communists left Cambodia, the authors grappled with cultural challenges, corruption, and the care of hundreds of children. Through this experience, they realized the limitations of institutions and the importance of family in caring for vulnerable children. Author Erin Foley puts a lot of detail and compassion into crafting this poignant exploration of the complexities surrounding orphan care, and anyone with an interest in the subject matter will find a lot of worthwhile emotive content to enjoy.

Through the lens of Dale and Cathleen Jones' experience in Cambodia, Erin Foley uses a clear narrative flow and a great organization of ideas to argue that institutions cannot replace the role of a family in nurturing and protecting vulnerable children. The challenges the couple faced, from cultural barriers to corruption, highlighted the inadequacies of orphanages in providing holistic care. Foley's narrative skillfully weaves together personal anecdotes with broader discussions on orphan care, prompting reflection on the importance of family-based care models. These ideas are organized so that students and practitioners interested in these issues can easily refer back to specific examples and ideas. Overall, Where They Belong is a well-penned work that will certainly be essential reading for those interested in sociocultural works on family and childhood everywhere.