Thursday, August 30

Book Review: Deafening

Title: Deafening

Author: Frances Itani

Pages: EBook 346

Summary: Born on the shores of Lake Ontario, Grania O'Neill suffers a childhood illness that destroys her hearing. Grania's life without sound is also a life bounded by a powerful family love that tries to protect her from suffering. But when it becomes clear that Grania can no longer thrive among the hearing, her family sends her to the Ontario School for the Deaf. There, protected from the often unforgiving world outside, she learns sign language and speech. And there she meets Jim Lloyd, a hearing man, and the two, in wonderment, begin to create a new emotional vocabulary that encompasses both sound and silence. But a war is raging on the other side of the world. Only 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 and brutal war of attrition, Jim and Grania are pulled to the centre of cataclysmic events that will alter civilisation forever.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the book a lot, and while it did move towards some themes, I wasn't expecting, I did find it to be a good read in the end, and will more than likely seek out the author other books.

The book did a fantastic job on its focus on World War I. Showing the horrors and thoughts of those on the front line, as well as the reactions and turmoil those who were left behind faced. I was hoping the book would have stayed with focusing on Grania and her struggles of her deafness. As I did enjoy the look at all the struggles she had to face and how she overcame them. As well as the look at how things slowly started to change for persons who are deaf during the time period. While I enjoyed the WWI aspect of the story, I did feel it pulled the focus away from the original theme, which was what initially grabbed my interest of the book.

The characters were well written. Particularly Grania, while I didn't connect to her on a level I would have liked, the author did a good job at creating her. She was well rounded, interesting and an intereting woman to read about. I did enjoy watching her grow throughout the book. Some of the other characters weren't developed as well as Grania, which was a shame, especially Jim, I felt like the author left out to much for his development, especially in the end. For the most part, characterization was well done, just a few things here and there.

Overall, a good read - especially for readers who enjoy World War I themed books.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. Well written, and a good story with a lot of themes and good character developments, so I think I lot of readers would enjoy the book.

What to read next: The Piano Man's Daughter and other Canada Reads Longlisted/Shortlisted Books

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge, New Author Challenge


  1. It's very stereotypical CanLit though, don't you think?

    1. John - It does follow a certain plot device that is seen a lot. I'll have to think about that one.