“Burning Everest” by Adrian Flynn
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The Wellands knew from the start that being Jim’s foster parents was going to be quite demanding. They knew he was a difficult child and were told about his mother, but they were willing to take the challenge.
Jim’s arrival into their family didn’t just alter their daily routines; they found that he became their prime worry. There are several instances where the family members show signs of exasperation and even desperation towards Jim’s antics.
The first signs of trouble incidentally start from the Wellands’ and Jim’s first meeting. Jim arrives to the Welland home with his social worker and is very rude to his new family. He shows absolute indifference except to interject that he doesn’t like the house, and showed an utter lack of respect to their vegetarian diet and refused to take part in it.
One of the most troubling things for the Wellands is Jim’s constant longing to go back to his mother. This makes the Wellands feel under pressure because they know that although Jim’s mother is not a good one, Jim adores her, and they know they could never match up to her in his eyes.
Jim also affects the Wellands financially. This doesn’t just stretch to another person living in their house, but also paying fines. Jim gets fined after he smashes his mother’s fiancé’s window. An instance which shows Jim’s ungratefulness is when Mrs. Welland buys him new clothes and he shreds them just to spite the Wellands. This angers Mr. Welland and makes him rethink his decision to foster Jim.
Never having had school trouble with Miranda, the Wellands find themselves contacted by the school headmaster about Jim’s bad behavior and lack of diligence in school work.
Maybe the thing which truly put Jim against the Wellands was when he calls Mr. Welland “mad”. Mr. Welland is appalled at the audacity of this stranger in his home telling him something which his family fought so hard to leave undiscussed.
Although it all works out in the end, Jim has undoubtedly changed the Wellands’ lives forever and put their patience under a hard test.