Margo Berendsen's Reviews > The Window

The Window by Jeanette Ingold
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May 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011-my-reads, ya-contemporary, highly-recommend, time-twist, young-adult, diverse_main_character, disabled
Read from June 30 to July 08, 2011

The writing in this book is so charged, it's almost electrified. Most of the scenes are short - just a page or two - but sharp and vivid - stripped of visuals (since the MC is a 15 year old Mandy, still adjusting to her blindness after a severe accident), but rich with other senses and not a word wasted. Mandy's independent, I-can-take-care-of-myself vulnerability comes through as a strong voice I quickly fell in love with.

I dare you to read the first chapter and not be so hooked you can't put the book down. Mandy's heightened senses to compensate for her blindness involve a sixth sense - an ability to hear into the past, and she slowly unravels a mystery that has long haunted her mother's family. Yet Mandy's ability to hear into the past isn't treated like a superpower or a magical power or even something psychic or paranormal: it just simply is.

The powerful opening scene:

"Stay seated, Mandy," the flight attendant says. "When the other passengers have gotten off, I'll come get you."

Right. She should try staying seated herself, when everybody else is standing up and the guy by the window wants out and stuff's tumbling from the overhead bins and you get bumped half into the aisle.

A man says "Watch it," and some other man says, "Hey." Suddenly there's a pocket of hot silence. Everyone around has just realized I can't see.

Another excerpt from the first chapter when a nurse takes Mandy to visit her mother in the hospital:

I found my mother's arm, reach for her face, the but the nurse moved my hand away. "You'll dislodge the tubing."

I listened for Mom to make some noise, even to just breathe out loud, but all the room became one steady, tiny monitor blip.

"Hey, Mom," I said. "You sure we can afford the rent here?"

I could feel the nurse get uptight, knew she was thinking: Hard case; people like these don't have feelings like they should.

"Don't worry, Mom," I said. "I'll get along."

My mom died the next morning, without me ever knowing if she'd heard.

Don't worry, the last thing this book is a pity party for poor blind Mandy. She's much too strong. I feared for her when she makes the decision to attend a regular high school instead of a school for the blind, but soon realized there's nothing to fear in the hands for this excellent story teller.

I will definitely look for more books by this author.

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