A contemporary fable infused with religious overtones about a physically deformed, morally pure man whose innocent involvement with a village teenager threatens the paradise he’s created for himself.
Born with a huge, misshapen head, Jack Plum has lived for 30-odd years considered a retarded freak by most of the outside world. His increasingly demented invalid mother’s repeated refrain that his father deserted them because of Jack wounds the most because his own memories are filled with his father’s affection. His father, a butcher who came from a village called Eden, wanted to raise pigs, not for slaughter but because they fascinated him. Together father and son were working on a secret pig shelter in their cellar when his father disappeared. Jack has carried on the work and created a perfect haven for the rare-breed pigs with which he has a special affinity. His intuitive, equally finely tuned sense of people and his loneliness lead him to seek out Holly Lock. A burgeoning adolescent who does not want to leave childhood behind, Holly feels abandoned by her single mother (absent fathers loom large here) who has a new boyfriend, pressured by her needy friend Samantha and uncomfortable with the attentions of neighbor boy Colin. Holly becomes Jack’s true friend, sharing his love for the pigs. When his mother dies, he and Holly dispose of the body and find proof that his father did not abandon Jack; he died on his way to arrange a new life for the two of them. But by opening his world to Holly, Jack makes himself vulnerable to outside forces. Ferreting out Holly’s secret friendship, Samantha, herself wounded, assumes the worst. She and Colin, acting out of ignorant protectiveness and vicious jealousy, destroy Jack’s world.
Technically dazzling, but the inspirational Christian spiritualism becomes heavy-handed.