Book Review: Song for a Whale by @LynneKelly @PiccadillyPress

Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Pages: 322
Release date: 5th February 2019
About: A stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder.
Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios.
Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there.
Iris works on a foolproof plan to help the whale but she soon realises that that is not enough: Iris wants to find the whale herself.
One stolen credit card, two cruise ship tickets, and the adventure of a lifetime later, Iris and the whale each break through isolation to help one another be truly heard in ways that neither had ever expected.

I don’t think i have ever related to a character so much in all my life. I felt every emotion Iris had along her journey. My heart ached at the beauty of the storytelling and the gratitude that this book exists for those who identify with Iris’ hearing issues. Not only is this book about to go out into the world and allow some people, like myself, to feel represented but it’s a book that will enlighten others on some of the physical and emotional problems faced by those with hearing difficulties.

The theme of isolation resonates with me quite strongly; I was diagnosed with serve hearing loss at the age of 15. However, I was showing signs of hearing loss as young as 6 or 7. My inability to answer people was put down to my dreamer nature with a bit of laziness thrown in.
School was a different matter. I suspect that in an environment where blanking someone was the highest crime. I was considered rude and stuck up. I felt like I spent much of high school in my own little prison cell of silence.
In short, I totally relate to Iris’ frustration and I would have been exactly like her and feeling the kinship with Blue-55. I might not have gone on the adventure she did, but curling up and reading this book I feel like I actually did.

The writing is breath-taking and compliments the heartfelt plot entirely. How ASL is relayed in the book is nothing short of perfection. There’s a distinction made between speech and ASL, and that in itself is wonderful. However, Lynne Kelly goes beyond that and gives some stunning descriptions of the hand movements to some words and phrases.

The plot moves at an engaging pace, intermingling what appear on the outset to be completely unrelated and independent plot threads. It means that you get to know all the characters that surround Iris in all parts of her life. I’d have personally loved to have seen more interaction between Iris and her brother, but it reminded me so much of the relationship I had with my brother and I just wanted to dive right in and stay a little longer.

This book will forever have a place in my heart, it has soothed my soul and I already predict a mid-year reread. Thank you, Lynne Kelly, from the bottom of my heart for allowing people like myself to be seen, heard and most importantly, understood.

Song for a Whale is out on 5th February 2019.

Love Han x

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One Comment on “Book Review: Song for a Whale by @LynneKelly @PiccadillyPress

  1. Pingback: Coffee Book Tag – Arya's Fangirl Lexicon

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