Emma's Reviews > Grace Williams Says It Loud

Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson
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Dec 18, 11

Read from August 04 to December 18, 2011

Emma Henderson’s book is ambitious, moving and tackles very serious issues about society’s attitude to disabled people.

(I can’t believe this book was compared to Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’ which I found to be a formulaic ‘beach read’ and boring considering the subject matter!)

My only frustration with the book was in the pacing and style of writing. I found this to be a big problem. The writing is beautiful but somewhat jarring in that events presented from the POV of the main character are shown to the reader almost as list of facts. I understand that this is because Grace is institutionalised by the horrific attitudes at the Briar. However, it has the effect of her presenting sexual abuse almost in the same way as she describes a box of cakes. Grace’s narrative voice is muted, sobering and mostly unquestioning. This is a chaotic way to plot the book and I found it a bit of a chore, often putting down the book or leaving it for a few days. This book certainly needs momentum. If you put it down you’re unlikely to want to pick it up, which is a shame.

I’m not surprised Emma Henderson has personal experience of the issues as you really feel that you are eyewitness to the terrible attitudes in the 50s and 60s. There is some reprieve from that later in the book. The relationship between Grace and Daniel is incredibly poignant at times and they are easily some of the most interesting characterisations I’ve come across. From other reviews I’ve read, this is a book to persevere with because of the brilliant subject matter and characterisation but it may be more of a battle to get through than most.
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