Novel with lots of heart
THE beauty of a good book is its ability to transport you into another world. As you read, you get to journey through the mysteries of another person's making. But too rarely we are placed in the world of those living with a disability. And if we are, it is through the senses of someone not walking through those challenges.
This is why A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Barnard, is such a gem of a book. Firstly, it is a good, easy read. It is a light-hearted romance story.
But it is so much more. Through the eyes of Steffi, who has been a selective mute most of her life, I got to experience another world. Her world. And the difficulties extreme anxiety can place one under when one does not tick the usual boxes.
Readers also experience the world of her friend and later boyfriend, Rhys, the new boy at school who is deaf. The couple is put together because of Steffi's rudimentary understanding of sign language, which she learnt as a means to cope with her inability to talk.
The odds of this couple falling in love seem far-fetched. He's deaf and she struggles to speak. We learn through them and their story, there is so much more to communication than what we hear and say. I learnt something through my avid enjoyment of the characters. For a brief moment, I was placed into a world which is different from mine and yet so strikingly similar. This is a great novel by Barnard and worth a read.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Barnard, published by Macmillan, RRP $16.95, is out now.