By most accounts, they enlisted in a unit in , despite being from Minnesota. We learn to grasp, to hold tightly to these moments for the short time they exist. The influenza epidemic is well described--I had not realized that so many people died, lost their hearing, lost their hair, etc. It became a war story, which is all well and good, but I wanted to read more about Grania's growth as a deaf character. How did this really meet with Grania's world? That said, I enjoyed this first third of the book, when Grania, who is deaf, is growing up. Deafening is a book about love, loss, language and the ability of the human spirit to carry on, to bear the sorrow—ours and others—and to survive, if not triumph. By sharing their unique worlds with each other they produce a love that endures through illness and war.
I became absorbed by the characters and their unique ways of dealing with a less than ideal life. A more detailed account of Grainy's education as well as how the school progressed through history would've made this novel great. Readers can also interact with The Globe on and. Well, I won't put in a spoiler, but 400 pages is about 250 pages too long. I felt the point of the novel fell flat.
I found the perspective of a deaf woman and other deaf characters, fascinating. I thought that was so interesting. But the author also hears the resonance between these two experiences: Jim's survival often depends on his ability to exercise the same attention as Grania to slight movements around him, and in the roar of shells and gunfire, his men resort to impromptu sign language. He stood unmoving, trying to sink into the quiet that had fallen on all sides. I just felt Itani wasn't quite sure what direction she wanted the novel to head in.
This book could have been a unique and compelling exploration of the history of deaf culture in Ontario and the consequences of deafness on identity and relationships. Itani was born in Belleville, Ontario and grew up in Quebec. For instance she included aspects such as the 'communicator' having the light falling onto their face, and the deaf person having the light behind them, to maximise clear communication. To the accompaniment of songs of whales in the Gulf, Clayton reflects on his life, his children now gone and his wife so familiar that he moves into the attic to find the space he needs. The aspects of war, as horrible as they were became very repetitive in the book.
In fact, I think I liked the order in how I read these two beautiful novels. Find a cozy spot and take some time with this book. The story of Graine as a child, and her struggles with being deaf were very interesting, and rung true. Itani constructs a striking juxtaposition between Grania's small, silent world and the cacophony of battle that her husband endures. Beautifully balanced, riveting, and thought provoking. It is the story of Grania, a little girl growing up in southern Ontario in the early years of the 20th century, who is struck deaf by scarlet fever at the age of five. I liked it, but more for the aspect of the deaf.
The room was dark unless there was a moon, but she did not need the moon. She holds her voice as close to herself as she can. Women in the American Civil War. In the book, we learn that there are no miracles in the traditional sense of the word, but that miracles lie in our ability to move forward, anyway. Not much of a love story - they met and were married within a few pages.
It's a book about hope and despair, but also about love and loss. After being sent to Belleville, Ontario to attend the school for the Deaf, she falls in love with a hearing man named Jim. For instance she included aspects such as the 'communicator' having the light falling onto their face, and the deaf person having the light behind them, to maximise clear communication. Itani deftly braids the various timelines, but even the late promise of forgiveness scarcely mutes the darkness of the underlying themes: racism, rejection, the legacy of national and personal pain. Well written novel about the struggle of a young girl, Grania, living in Deseronto, Ontario in 1902 who is rendered deaf after a bout of scarlet fever.
In death they told more than the face; he knew that now. But just two weeks after their wedding, Jim must leave home to serve as a stretcher bearer on the blood-soaked battlefields of Flanders. This novel is partially inspired by the experiences of the Frances Itani's deaf grandmother. The writing style took a bit of time to relate to but it was a story told from the perspective of a deaf woman. Jim is sent into World War 1 to be a stretcher bearer and through letters home to Grania, tries to maintain their language of love, silence and 'fingers on lips.
I think the best compliment I can pay is that she was able to make me fully understand and feel what it may well have been like to be both a soldier in the trenches, and a family member waiting breathlessly, in limbo, back at home in Canada. Although the plotting and conclusion are simple, this is an undeniably respectful and moving homage to a shameful factual episode. His careful words fell into her fingertips and she whispered back and they conversed like this, side by side. Though at first he was astonished, he understood and began to speak. I felt so unattached to this one that I was willing to leave it behind on my vacation as a donation to the hotel 'library' in the lobby.