Thursday, 2 April 2015

Kerr Thomson - The Sound of Whales - Book Review (Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books)

Book Synopsis: Three children are spending their summer on a wild Scottish island. Fraser is desperate for adventure; Hayley is fed up she's even there; while Dunny spends his days staring out to sea. He hasn't said a word in years. But everything changes with the discovery of two bodies on the beach: a whale and a man. Fraser and Hayley see a mystery-adventure to be solved, but Dunny is inconsolable. And in the end, it will take someone who listens to the sea to put it right.

Book Review: This book was the winner of The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2014. I may not have read all the entries, most of them might not even have the chance to be published, but I'm really glad that this was given the opportunity. It is a deserved winner in my eyes as it is beautifully written. 

Immediately, I felt a strong connection with this book as it brought back many great memories of my personal time exploring remote Scottish Islands. Nothing beats this experience, in my opinion. I was immersed in landscape and natural beauty portrayed particularly well by Kerr. The setting is a very important element of this book. 

Following the narrative, I was gently placed into the lives and place of the characters. The story could be set at any point in time, even though some of the issues explored in the book might be more relevant today. Many important themes are encountered in this book, which will actually make you think about the world. The focus on the love of whales, exploration, the importance of the environment and our relationship with animals. 

As you ramble along the Scottish coast in this book, a mystery thriller unfolds for the three children. A body of a deadman washes up on the shore and changes their lives dramatically . . . . . forever!

There are so many great things that I enjoyed about this book. The slight romantic and carefree feel; an innocent outlook that gently caresses the mind - just like the sea lapping at my feet on a warm sunny day. The three main characters worked really well, even though they are all so different. I was drawn particularly to the character of Dunny who hasn't spoken in years and suffers from mild autism. Each page that you read the more unpredictable his actions and reactions become, this gives a slight psychological edge to the story that I really loved.

How would I summarise this book in order to encourage yo to read it? Well, it's a mystery thriller on a Scottish Island. An atmospheric and magical tale of friendship but with serious issues explored in a cruel world of humanity. Inspired by nature, this book encompasses many great twists and turns. This is a very original debut read and one not to be missed. This is a book that should be read and will be loved by many - my recommendation for April 2015. 

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