The Earth Hums in B Flat, By Mari Strachan
Sunday 12 April 2009
I loved this debut, which manages to give a young girl's narrative an authentically quirky aspect, without ever resorting to cutesiness or cosiness.
Gwenni Morgan, who lives in a small Welsh town, sees something she doesn't understand: the aftermath of the beating of a neighbour, administered by her husband. Over the next few days, that violent husband goes missing, but Gwenni is too young to make the connection between his disappearance and his wife's abuse. The connections she does make are almost supernatural: when Gwenni closes her eyes, she can fly through the town and see through windows and glimpse private lives. Some of this information is quite useless, of course, as she can't understand what she is seeing, and her mother – who knows the kind of gift her daughter has and is the only one who might be able to help her – instead punishes her daughter.
Strachan eschews whimsy for reality in a beautifully written story about growing up – an experience that itself so often seems full of the wrong kind of magic.
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, TV review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, episode 2, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew