Format: Audio-Book – Library
Kathy’s lovely English boarding school – Hailsham – is exactly how every book has described English boarding schools since my mom used to read Roald Dahl to us. In fact, for the first few chapters, I was beginning to feel like I was missing something. This book is like one of those paintings that the more you look at it the weirder it becomes. Or like when you say a word too many times and it starts sounding like nonsense. Then it broke my tiny heart.
I listened to this book in Switzerland this May (I am wildly behind on my blogging), which was great considering Switzerland is much more like the English countryside than Eastern North Dakota, haha. It’s possible my feeling of immersion into a different world helped me get involved in this admittedly rambling tale. Kathy narrates the story as though she’s explaining it to us. It actually reminded me of being a therapist and having my clients tell me about their childhoods. Some things are important, some things aren’t, and all of it is kind of wistful.
Of course there’s a twist to this tale. This isn’t simply a coming of age story but a story that grapples with some harsh moral questions. Especially questions about who deserves love and how they should receive it. If this wasn’t a grown-up book I might have brought it to my book club as I think we’d have a pretty exciting discussion. If you plan to read it, I suggest not learning anything else about it– it’s better going in fresh.
Subjective Hearts: 4/5
Objective Hearts: 4/5