The Sound of Us (Book Review)

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Sound of UsI picked up The Sound of Us randomly, while searching the post-Christmas sale at Chapters for a baby book. I saw a table of discounted paperback novels and rummaged around looking, honestly, for chick lit. I just wanted a light read, which this was. It was more than that too, though.

I loved this book by Sarah Willis. It's about a woman who is an interpreter for the Deaf. I have always been interested in sign language and have limited knowledge of ASL, but this book gave me an inside look into the Deaf  culture and what it's like to communicate primarily with one's hands.

The protagonist of the novel suddenly becomes a foster parent to a little girl who is half African American, and the story explores issues of prejudice (they never use the word racism, because it's more about pre-judging people than actually having something against any particular race). This aspect of the story was also fascinating to me because my son is half African American, and because as an African American myself I have encountered prejudice and outright racism throughout my life. It was interesting to read about these things from the perspective of someone who is not a visible minority.

Finally, I loved the portrait of the foster care system that this painted. It describes case workers, the places that the children go to visit their parents, the court system, what biological parents go through to regain custody of their children, and what it's like to be a foster parent. Of course all of these things will vary on a case by case basis, but as someone whose parents were foster parents when I was growing up, a lot of what the book touched on rang true.

My husband and I have also considered fostering to adopt our next child. We have gone back and forth on the issue quite a bit, particularly when we think of what it would do to us if it didn't work out and the child was taken away from us. But then we think about how wonderful it would be if it did work out, and we were able to give a home to a child who wouldn't otherwise have one--especially an African American child, who I understand have a harder time getting placed with a "forever" family. I won't ruin the end of the book for you, but if you pick up this little gem, you won't be disappointed.

1 comments:

Kekibird January 14, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

I may have to check this out. I took ASL in college and was astounded by the beauty and the whole culture made out of what people would consider a disability. Just beautiful.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Thursday!

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