Michela O'Brien's Reviews > Painter of Silence

Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding
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's review
Aug 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: favourites
Read from August 05 to 31, 2012

If you like fast-paced stories, then this is not for you. If on the other hand you want to dive into a narrative you can slowly savour and absorb, this book will not disappoint you. There are beautiful passages and turns of phrase that stay with you and paint beautiful images, much like the title suggests.

Augustin is a deaf mute and his only way of communicating with the world are his drawings, which he can detail down to perfection. We get to wander into his mind and see the world through his eyes and thoughts, and I came to really love this sensitive, childlike soul trying to make sense of a world he can't really fit in, as he watches big historical and social changes unfolding and turning his reality upside down.

The only person that ever was able to reach him, was his childhood friend, Safta. They live at opposite ends of the social spectrum, but somehow find a connection that life and history cannot break. Her strong, defying nature is complementary to Augustin's fragility.

The novel has a challenging structure, jumping as it does from present to past, switching tenses and points of view, but somehow it flows and the narrative is sewn together with great skill.

I really loved this book and the only reason I didn't give it five stars is that I found the author to have a tendency for repetition, especially where Augustin's drawings and the long winding descriptions as they take shape are concerned. That aside, I was completely drawn in and finished the second half in one evening.

Highly recommended.

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