This is a book that reads like a song. Music rings through the book, woven through the traditional language used throughout the book. Although there is a glossary for the language, I found that most the time I didn’t need to use it. Instead, I let the words fall over me, finding that I knew what the author was telling me, without needing to translate it into ‘my language’.
Although it might be a song, it’s not always a happy one. Mazin Grace is about life, but not a particularly pretty one. It’s a life where food can be scarce and acceptance is scarcer. Where fear is a constant – fear of people leaving, fear of being taken. It’s a world that seems so remote from my own safe upbringing – my fears were imaginary, Grace’s are very, very real.
Although Mazin Grace was sad, and at times gut-wrenchingly confronting (and you must read the author’s note at the end), I was left with a feeling of hope – hope because stories like this are entering our consiousness, that writers like this are making long lists for awards, that books like this are available – easily – to readers like myself who don’t always find it easy to go to small or specialist book stores.
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