Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton | Publication date: 2nd January 2014 | Edition: Paperback (own copy)
I do not know myself or society or my place within it. I can enjoy or dislike a sensation, but not discern its relative importance; say between a sour apple or the death of a bird…a sad little shadow my soul casts…
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I’d heard tremendous things about it.
So, I decided to give it go and I wasn’t disappointed. When I started reading, I was amazed how the story of Liza was very cleverly conveyed to the reader in the first person, which is not an easy task considering this main character is a deaf-blind child. The writer has some talent to do this effectively without causing confusion, being unable to use dialogue in its ‘traditional’ form.
It was a book of many parts, not altogether the doom ‘n gloom that I was bracing myself for. You could easily digest how Liza and everyone around her approached her condition. Yes, there are some places where you feel like your heart’s just been ripped out and kicked about your lounge, but everything is balanced with considerable hope.
For me, the “visitor’s” role in this book was secondary in comparison with Liza’s struggles, as her character was so very strong. And yet, that’s exactly what these visitors were, drifting on the edge of something they’re no longer attached to, but their wispy involvement almost wasn’t enough to fully compete with it all. I enjoyed their vague presence all the same, as it made for a different take to the run-of-the-mill ‘haunting’. In this book, ghosts certainly aren’t the ones to dominate the storyline.
But there was just something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps I can’t get my head around two young ladies being permitted to travel to a war-torn Africa during the Boer War, although I’m not entirely sure if this was the norm. Look, my history’s not great, so it possibly just me overthinking things.
Having said all this, I’d still give this book a respectable 4.5 / 5. Anyone could appreciate this fine story of many genres. I found the time flew by whilst reading and would definitely recommend it.