Tze-Wen's Reviews > Grace Williams Says It Loud

Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: orange-prize, 2012, literary-fiction, contemporary, library, young-adult
Read from January 04 to 05, 2012

What a tough book this was to read. I went through stages of anger, indignation, happiness and also sadness, while reading Grace's story. I imagine it must have been difficult to give shape to the inner world and experiences of the outer world of someone who cannot communicate her feelings and thoughts accurately in either speech or writing. Who really knows how disabled people were (are?) treated? As the above quote demonstrates, the Briar Mental Institute staff does not hold a high opinion of their clients. The doctors and nurses can be downright insulting... and physically and mentally abusive. It is so easy to take advantage of someone who has difficulties expressing their opinion, and if they somehow managed to relate their story, nobody would believe them. They are, after all, just a bunch of crazies. It is not clear to me whether this is something that only used to happen in the past, but I doubt all institutionalised individuals in the West are getting the respect they deserve. The sexual abuse was particularly grating, and it reminded me of this Dutch swimming teacher who only recently was convicted for molesting intellectually disabled girls.
As for Grace's story itself, it had many beautiful parts in it as well. Of course she realises that she has always been different, but she does feel loved. She accepts her situation (up to a certain point...), mostly with the help of Daniel. I think he has Progeria syndrome, which causes his appearance to be prematurely aged. But even without his arms (which he lost in a car accident), he is so nimble and so full of vigour. Their little getaway is one of the sweetest parts of the book. I am a sucker for love stories!
I truly hope that, after reading this book, people will look at people who are slightly off the "normal" scale with new eyes. How can we know what others truly think? Is it so strange to believe that their existence is just as meaningful as ours, their thoughts and emotions as complex as everyone else's?
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Grace Williams Says It Loud.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/04/2012 page 104
show 1 hidden update…

No comments have been added yet.