I have always had this idea, that everything is about love. Falling in or out of it, with our families, our lovers, our food, our religion (or the lack of it), our countries (or the countries of others) our politicien, our music, art, ….within humans, I reckon.
And here we are, in an era of massive communication, but still thousands (millions?) of us do not dare talk about it.
When I first came to the UK, I was thoroughly convinced that I spoke English…little I knew. My first move was to get out of the latin ghettoes (and fall into the squats, where every single person came from a different end of the Great Britain territory, which made my quest of mastering the language even more of a difficult task…) but the definitive tools was the public library. At first, as one o my friends suggested, I picked children's books, but more precisely in large print, as it helped the visualizing and paced me…(or was it that they were less scary?)
From then on I have read a multitude of books, including some which had impressed me in my youth, but it was an amazing thing to be able to read them in their original language. But 10 years had gone without my emotions being touched so profoundly by a book, ironically a book that,within the first 3 or 4 pages, I didn't think I would enjoy that much…. but passed the first chapter couldn't put down.
This is Angela Young's first novel, and in it she speaks of the words not spoken, of the force that silences have when not talking about love. With a beautty of her words she opens the world of Iris the woman, Iris the lover, Iris the mother and with her we hear the silences and those silences takes to Vivie, the daughter who walks the agony that those silences provoked for many years.
She also brings us into a dreadful world, the world of mental health treatment in the UK.
Maybe because I saw both these world very close, the world of the silences which are so much more usual in this country than any other I have lived in, and the world of the NHS mental health when I was a health advocate and interpreter for a while,maybe because the author knits it all with the world of story telling in the most magical way, maybe because as a latina I feel this woman's words going through my eyes into the very core of my emotions….I cried with Iris and Vivie, but those were the most beautiful tears i had cried for a long, long time.
It's been a while since I wanted to write about anything I had read, but in this case, Angela deserves all the attention she can get. And I wish her the very best.