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Love is important in a family

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“Love is important in a family.”
How is this theme shown in the novel Step by Wicked Step? Support your answer with close reference to your text.
I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine. Love is important in a family to ensure a harmonious ambience in the family. The story revolves around five motley children named Claudia, Colin, Pixie, Ralph and Robbo who discovered the journal of Richard Clayton Harwick which entailed a heart-rending tale of a lonely rich boy who could not come to terms with his father’s death and his mother’s new status as Reverend Coldstone’s wife. The five children cried their eyes out after reading his tale of woes and decided to confide their stories.

Nowhere in the novel is more evident that love is important in a family than in Richard’s story. Richard led a sheltered life until the entry of Reverend Coldstone whom he called “The black bat”. Wherein lay his misery. He regarded his mother as a traitor to his father’s love by marrying Reverend Coldstone soon after his father kicked the bucket. He suffered four years of pain in Mordanger School. Torn between his love for his mother and sister and his hatred towards his overbearing stepfather, he decided to run away to sea. Fortune shone on him and he rose through the rank of a cabin boy to the captain of a ship. Unfortunately, his whole world fell apart when he learnt from Charlotte’s letter what had happened during his time away. His mother spent a fortune to look for her beloved son whilst Charlotte was willing to marry Charles Devere who was rich to keep up the search. This epistle shows that Richard’s sister made an ultimate sacrifice out of love for her brother. Their waiting for their beloved family member was in vain and led to the death of Richard’s mother who died of heartbreak and Charlotte who passed away because of fever during childbirth.

Besides, the theme “love is important in a family” is also well portrayed in Colin’s story. Colin’s mother left his biological father and took up with Jack whom he regarded as his dad when he was eight months old. Colin developed a strong bond with Jack and was very attached to him even though they did not have any blood ties. It is proven here clearly that love binds bonds and not blood. Colin’s life was blissful as love prevailed. But it all came to an end when his mother packed Jack off in a puff of smoke and did a flit. Colin took ages to realize that his mother has not left any clues for Jack to hazard a guess where they have moved to. He missed his dad and the reminiscence with his dad kept flooding back. Since his mother was busy, Colin would spend time with his dad at skating rinks and park. Jack loved Colin too as he remembered Colin’s friends’ names, the names of his favourite animal, the teacher he dislikes and the size of the battery he used for his game. Hiding tobacco tin in boot and smelling the shreds of tobacco leaves reflects the love Colin had for his dad. As an effort to search his dad, Colin saved up all the pennies that came his way and asked for cash instead of presents for his birthday and Christmas. Love is important in a family, Colin who was bereft of love was hurt deep inside but had to put up a happy façade as if he has got over it just to not upset his mother.

The relationship between Roy, the beard and Dumpa also shows that love is important in a family. Robbo got along with Roy but Callie despised him as he picked on her. Her hatred towards Roy escalated when he lord it over them after Dumpa was born. Dumpa loved his father, Roy. Dumpa was inconsolable when Roy was away for a week. His love towards his father is also shown when Dumpa trailed after Roy when he set out to clear the shed when it was snowing. Not even Dumpa’s favourite ice lolly could entice the crafty toddler to come inside the house. Robbo also loved Dumpa and did not want him to suffer the pain of losing his adored dada if his mom and Roy split up. To clear the air, he initiated a discussion between his mom and Callie so that she can pour her heart out and told them that Roy was fuming in silence and felt unwelcomed in the house which was full of underlying angers. It came as a shock to his mom to acknowledge that Roy has come back just for the sake of Dumpa, for the love he had for Dumpa. They agreed to have a fresh start all over again and Callie was overjoyed to stay with her biological father whom she loved. It was the beginning of the ending, the beginning of a new beginning where love will fill the air again.

In a nutshell, love is an element that plays a vital role in a family. We should spread love instead of holding it back because if we never love, we never live. To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.

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