Alright, I won't be so mean. I actually really loved (this part is no exaggeration) the first section in this book (it is divided into three or four sections, each called a book), and I enjoyed the first little bit of the second 'book'. But soon after, I started disliking this book, and eventually couldn't bring myself to finish this. I just couldn't.
The book is basically about a girl named Grania, who is deaf, and her experiences in life before and during World War One. For the first bit, it is actually better than it sounds.
But this book is not only about that - it is also about Grania growing up in her silent world in the middle of a very noisy world. It is about Grania going to school, making friends, her struggles related to her deafness, among many things. And for about the first hundred and thirty pages, I loved it. And this review would be 4 or 5 stars had it somehow ended there, ending somewhat happily at the end of her childhood. Sadly though, the book continued. (What a downer!) At first I was excited, because Grania's life was changing, and she had grown up, and it seemed like there were so many possibilities that Frances Itani could have had tucked up her sleeve.
But then we met Jim. The way that Frances Itani described it, it seemed like it might have been love at first sight. But, I didn't feel it. I couldn't really see it, either. The author basically spends the same amount of time that most authors would use to describe a passing week, to describe a passing year. We are told that they are madly in love, that Grania's family doesn't disapprove of Jim, and that Grania pronounces Jim's name like 'Chim' because of her speech. But we never see any of this, we aren't told any stories, we aren't shown anything. We just have to take the author's words for it, that yes, indeed, this was meant to be. And then Grania and Jim are married. And then they spend their last month or so together before 'Chim' goes off to war as a stretcher bearer. And then Jim goes off to war. And I frankly didn't care. I only cared about Grania, and even that was dwindling. The book was really beginning to bore me, but I held on. After a while though, with Jim describing the 'war to end all wars' with its horrible sights and ghastly sounds, and his wondering how Grania would perceive the different situations he find himself in, I couldn't take it anymore. Although so much was happening around both characters, at the same time, it seemed as though nothing was happening. So, at about page 260, I gave up. I just couldn't do it anymore.
I don't know if the book was truly bad after page 130, or if I was just being a poor sport or if I simply was reading the book at the wrong point in time. Who knows, maybe in 5 years I will pick this up from some other library, reread it, and wonder why I wrote such a negative review about this book. All I know, is that for now, it is not for me. If you have this book at your local library, then I say pick it up, and read until the last page in the first 'book'. Feel free to venture beyond that point, but if you start to get bored I warn you that it won't really get any better.
To try to distract you from the gloomy review and to distract me from my sudden feeling of depression, here is a cute picture of a cat rolling around on a book. *cue the "awwww's"*
I hope you all had a great week,