Louise's Reviews > Deafening

Deafening by Frances Itani
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's review
Apr 04, 09

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in August, 2005

Well written novel about the struggle of a young girl, Grania, living in Deseronto, Ontario in 1902 who is rendered deaf after a bout of scarlet fever. After being sent to Belleville, Ontario to attend the school for the Deaf, she falls in love with a hearing man named Jim. Grania, due to her deafness pronounces her husband's name Chim. Jim is sent into World War 1 to be a stretcher bearer and through letters home to Grania, tries to maintain their language of love, silence and 'fingers on lips.'

From back cover:

"Set on the eve of the Great War and spanning two continents, DEAFENING tells the story of Grania, a young deaf woman living in small-town Ontario, who falls in love with Jim, a hearing man. In wonderment, they create a new emotional vocabulary of sound and silence.

As the First World War explodes across Europe, Jim leaves to become a stretcher bearer on the Western Front, a place filled with unforgiving noise, violence and death. Through this long war of attrition, Jim and Grania attempt to sustain their love in a world as brutal as it is beautiful."
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