Sunday, September 23, 2007



by Tim Bowler

A boy who has lost his father two years ago has been having a difficult time ever since. Although he is a sensitive boy, a nice boy, an incredibly gifted and musical boy, he is not and in no way wants to be in touch with his own emotions over the whole thing. He and his mother have never really talked about his father, and he says he doesn't want to. Instead, he's been hanging around with the village gang of yobbos and is starting to get himself into real trouble with them. This in turn results in him stumbling into the lives of a reclusive old woman and a damaged young girl she's caring for, who will only really respond to his music. Add his mother's burgeoining relationship with a man from the village, and he is starting to spin out of control. As this is going on, he also finds himself more and more sensitive to sounds most of the world can't hear, and is beginning to see an image with them - something he is told his father experienced, too.

It all comes to a head one day, culminating in the gang trying to kill him, and him seeking help from the man he hates for just being near his mother. In the end, he ends up bringing people together and feeling acceptance of others in a way he hasn't for a long time, partly in thanks to his being so strangely attuned to the music of the universe.

This is a lovely book, one written so beautifully that I didn't want to put it down, and every one of the characters drew me into their stories and made me care deeply about the outcomes. The boy's struggle with his own grief and anger are handled in a very real way, and the eventual reconciling of many stories, with all plotlines coming to nice, rounded out conclusions doesn't feel false, but hopeful. This was really wonderful to get lost in.

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