Deafening

Deafening  by Frances Itani

“At the age of five, Grania-the daughter of hardworking Irish hoteliers in smalltown Ontario-emerges from a bout of scarlet fever profoundly deaf and is suddenly sealed off from the world that was just beginning to open for her. Her guilt-plagued mother cannot accept her daughter’s deafness. Grania’s saving grace is her grandmother Mamo, who tries to teach Grania to read and speak again. Grania’s older sister, Tress, is a beloved ally as well. When it becomes clear that [Grania] can no longer thrive in the world of the hearing, her family sends her to live at the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville, where she learns sign language and speech. After graduation Grania stays on to work at the school, and there she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man. In wonderment the two begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But just two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave home to serve as a stretcher bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders. During this long war of attrition, Jim and Grania’s letters back and forth-both real and imagined-attempt to sustain their young love in a world as brutal as it is beautiful.” (Goodreads)

This was a beautifully-written book. I took my time reading through this one, slowly, and just savoured all of the words and moments that the author thoughtfully crafted. This book opened my eyes (and ears) to what the world  can be like for some deaf people, and it has encouraged me not to take my sense of hearing for granted.

*My progress for the Canadian Book Challenge is 5/13!!

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